When I was “somewhat of a boss” at work. I attended a management course at the university.
They taught us all kinds of methods to engage workers in the work they are meant to do.
The work they get paid to do.
I know I sound old , but all the while I thought “why do we keep courting our workers and pulling amazing enthusiasm tricks on them and group counselling and stuff when at the end of the day, this is their job, they get paid for doing it, end of story?“
Of course I was wrong.
I am well aware of that now.
I get it that people cannot do the same thing every day , even if they do get paid for it, without , at some point, getting super bored and un-happy.
I’m just not sure the instant you get promoted to be a (junior) manager, you automatically get magic powers of a well-being guru, leading your team to joyful happy content working days.
I know I was no guru- that’s for sure.
Any way- that’s completely off point, as usual.
The point was supposed to be, that one management class, while trying not to dose off (told you I wasn’t cut to be a junior boss) the lecturer was telling us about the benefits of repeatedly asking “why”.
It didn’t really sink in at the time, for various reasons , most of them having to do with the fact I was trying to climb the career ladder, while keeping up appearance at home too. (not sure which was more of a disaster, long story short it’s a good idea I retired a few years later).
When I retired, I suddenly had ( have, I still have) a lot of time to contemplate things.
Not that I like contemplating things.
On the contrary.
I’d much rather read a book, cook, (eat- naturally), or work out. I’d rather clean than contemplate.
But, things started coming up and dragging me to think about them.
Freedom is dangerous, no wonder people fear freedom, and hesitate whether to retire early or not.
For a while I didn’t sit to meditate, falsely thinking I am in no need to sit since I am mainly alone and have tons of free time to “be” any way.
That proved to be wrong too-
The mere fact that I retired early didn’t necessarily mean I figured it all out.
I didn’t find “NIBANA” (AKA “nirvana”).
There you go- work isn’t to blame for everything that went wrong on your path to tranquility. (or- more properly -equanimity).
At least for me .
So I started sitting (as in meditation) again, but the swirl of thoughts wouldn’t stop.
So I decided I am going to defy all ruled of meditation, and instead of only observing the thoughts that seem to hurry and invade my quiet peaceful mind as soon as I sit to meditate-
just go on-
And face them.
Confront those thoughts directly , and ask “why?”
It goes something like this-
“thought #1: “I keep feeling uneasy every time I talk to my mother on the phone.”
“thought: because I keep saying the wrong thing, or thinking I said- or am going to say- the wrong thing”.
“thought:because our relationship is complicated”.
“thought: oh, its been like that forever. nothing new”
” thought: ….”
(I’m still on it, still have a long way to go).
As you can see, the distance between a seemingly innocent question and matters of hardcore being and childhood Freudian messes- is merely a matter of asking 4 times “why”.
The difference , and it’s a huge difference mind you- is that you ask the “why” in a quiet (hopefully relaxed) state of mind, as you are in a meditating position, (though not properly meditating).
This has helped me tackle some of the most frightening “why’s” -though, I seem to have no shortage of overwhelming disturbing disturbances to keep me going for a long time.
Any way- I seem to have a lot to work on.
The only thing I can say is-be gentle with yourselves.
Kind may be a better word.