Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: BeHereNow on March 10, 2017, 03:27:10 PM

Title: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: BeHereNow on March 10, 2017, 03:27:10 PM
Hi everyone,

I started a new job about 2 months ago, and it has led to a high level of anxiety, fear and some dips into depression.  As I try to be equanimous and just observe what is arising, I'm starting to think that it's just not a good fit for me.  There is so much dysfunction, dishonesty and a vortex of constant urgent things that pop up... I've been getting better at staying balanced myself, but the more I do that the more I sense that if I stay, I may just be thrown under the bus and it will not get better but worse.

I have the option of going back to my old position with sufficient notice, and while originally I thought I'd stick it out for the year of my assignment, I'm thinking of honouring my gut and just letting go of the whole thing and going back.

Any tips on making this final decision?  Should I sit longer for about a week or so and see what happens?

I noticed Matthew's suggestion in another thread to sit much longer than 20 minutes, now my practice is usually yoga for 30-40 minutes and then sit for 20-30, would you recommend just sitting for an hour every morning and see what comes out of that?

Thanks so much!

Much metta,
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Frightful on March 10, 2017, 04:44:45 PM
These are complicated issues and I don't envy you the decision.  That said, the following is the path I took some years back with now being in my 50's and thankfully looking at retirement this year.   The previous job that I vacated about 15 years ago was managerial and had a similar 'flavor' to me to what you just described in terms of stress, dysfunction, dishonesty, etc.  Fortunately, a position opened up that would exist just below the political cloud level of that higher paying job and allow me more freedom in my occupation albeit with about a 15% pay cut.  That is when you get out the calculator and just roughly push some numbers around regarding what you feel you will need in retirement, factoring in how your health is being impacted by an unhealthy work situation.  Part of the decision involved (1) eating some ego that was being fueled by the management of so many underlings in the previous position, (2) dealing with an unhappy spouse who was too tied to the flow of easy money into the household, (3) dealing with raised eyebrows at work since I was voluntarily going from a higher paying job to a lower paying job, and (4) really coming to terms with addiction to the 'goods and services' that the previous paycheck purchased.   In addition to the fact that the salary went down, early retirement will mean an additional, fairly steep relinquishing of annuity/pension income, but once again it's all about deciding what is truly needed and what kinds of things one needs to accept.  So lots of soul searching on comfort levels and personal needs while still employed and thereafter.  Good luck on your path!.....
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Dharmic Tui on March 10, 2017, 06:53:55 PM
Hi Paula,

This doesn't sound like a role that'll provide the sort of environment that'll bring you fulfillment, your gut instinct here is most likely right. Despite your best wishes it won't improve over time, and your disdain for it will likely only increase. Look at taking back your old position, or dare I say it, maybe look outwards for something else.

All the best
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Middleway on March 10, 2017, 09:18:58 PM
Hello BeHereNow,

I went back and re-read your earlier posts. You do have issues at/with your work. While many work places have issues, we should realize we may also be part of the problem or at least evaluate from that angle. I am neither a psychologist or psychiatrist but recommend that you go see one. Good luck!

Warm regards,

Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: BeHereNow on March 11, 2017, 11:55:49 PM
Thank you so much, everyone. I have decided to step down and look forward to a more peaceful work-life.

The issues I have are similar to the ones that have been mentioned, especially letting go of the ego and self-importance that come with a "senior management" job, and concerns for what others will think.

I have always felt that my value comes from being smart and capable, so it will be interesting to observe what happens when I choose to honour other aspects of myself.
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Matthew on March 12, 2017, 09:34:10 PM
Hi Paula,

You saw this coming when you took the post. Glad you have not dragged out the pain :)

"People ask why I have Rolls Royce cars. Have you ever tried to meditate on the back of a bullock cart? It is a very rough ride. Much easier to meditate in a Rolls Royce." - Osho


Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: BeHereNow on March 17, 2017, 11:43:45 PM
lol :-)

Thanks so much, Matthew!

Now the pain of "what will others think"? begins... but getting over that is a battle worth fighting for.
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Dharmic Tui on March 18, 2017, 09:20:30 AM
It doesnt matter what others think.
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Matthew on March 18, 2017, 11:39:44 PM
"What will others think" is just another thought to let go of. DT is right, it doesn't matter. :)
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Middleway on March 19, 2017, 06:02:28 PM
Sure, it doesn't matter and we should let go of those thoughts. But how does the mind let go of that unwanted thought process? It is easier said than done. It is not enough to simply accept what Matthew and DT have said. Yes, we do know intellectually that they are absolutely right. But our mind will not let go of that thought process easily. We simply push it down into the dark recces of our mind. Sooner or later, they surface again and we suffer.   So, what do we do? We train our minds to inquire/investigate. Through this inquiry, we get insights. These insights will allow our mind to let go. Only then we find lasting peace from that misery. How do we train our minds?

We will have to do root cause analysis. Why do thoughts arise in our minds that say "what will others think?".  Why do we have to suffer the psychological pain that follows? It depends on our past impressions we accumulate over decades in this life (cultural, parental influence, societal influences etc.) and evolutionary impressions (ancestral way of life) together which form our current psyche. Together, these impressions or samskaras form the basis of our "ego self". This ego-self is what gets "hurt" or "suffers" the pain.  Now, we go deeper into what this ego-self is all about. In order to do this effectively, we need our minds to notice or observe these thoughts as they arise, and our minds should be able to focus or concentrated to be able to do the root cause analysis. So, we train our minds though sitting and walking meditation and develop both concentration and mindfulness. The more we do this root cause analysis, the faster the process next time around. Eventually, it will be instantaneous.

Therefore, developing the abilities of the mind to concentrate and be mindful is so important.

Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: stillpointdancer on March 20, 2017, 10:09:46 AM
Hi Middleway. Good points. I have always felt that the detail of working on thoughts is always missing when we try to do stuff ourselves. The handbook to change the mind, as it were. It's dealt with in MBSR or therapies of that kind, but not readily available for the bulk of people who want something in meditation to help the process along.
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: BeHereNow on March 20, 2017, 01:43:40 PM
This is so helpful.  Thank you.

I have started sitting for an hour in the mornings instead of my usual 30 mins, and it's helping me see how deep the root causes of overachivement / pleasing others are.  First there is a layer of not being good enough.  This is so so painful, I can see how people could go their whole lives just trying to avoid the feeling of not good enough by staying busy and hoping that once they reach a certain point in the future, they will feel ok.

And then beneath that is what caused me to feel not good enough... feeling unheard, unloved, unseen.  So more layers of thoughts and body sensations, more stories.  More pain.  But such good pain!  I love sitting with it, giving it compassion.  I feel so grateful that I can sit with the pain rather than continuing to try to escape from it.  A taste of real freedom.

I see now that it's possible to escape the cycle of constant approval-seeking, but it is painful.  As long as I continue along the path of feeling the sensations and releasing them, it all gets lighter...

The repercussions of me going back are going to be painful too, whoever was sitting in my home position will have to go back to theirs, and I feel bad about that.  My boss in my home position is pretty pissed off too.  Hopefully next time I'll be able to say no earlier on, when I first see the signs of something not aligning with my higher purpose (as I did with this one but the desire to please was just too strong...)
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: BeHereNow on March 23, 2017, 09:34:28 PM
UPDATE:  Ever since I started meditating longer in the mornings and noticing the deep fear around people not liking me, things have been so so much better at work.  I realize that this is the root issue, and when I can let go of what others think, and return to body and breath in the moment, I can figure out what the priorities are, take breaks when I need to, and others' anxieties and judgments bother me less. So exciting.

As a result and in order to minimize disruption at my home position, I will stay in the role for now, continue to focus on staying present and letting go of what others will think.  I will re-evaluate in June (6 months in), and if all is well finish off the year.

Lots of opportunities for practice will arise, I'm sure... one moment at a time...
Title: Re: Issues at Work - Intuition vs. Fear
Post by: Matthew on March 27, 2017, 06:00:05 PM
An hour once a day is much more use than 30 minutes twice a day. Glad things have eased for you :)