Opening up- Day 3

Quick update, day 3 was successfully completed. By successfully I mean I’ve done more than 1 hour of yoga each day for the past three days. I begin to realize just how stiff I’ve grown, my hips and shoulders seem to be stuck, I´m very far from where I want to be. I am where I need to be, working every day. I will keep it up.

I’m considering going to a chiropractor for my lower back, it is painful and tender and mobility is reduced. Perhaps next month.

I recorded some videos of myself doing several ‘target poses’ for comparison, to have a before and after so I can track my progression. The before is very disheartening, I feel I am stretching to the max, and it barely shows on the video. I think at this rate, within a few days I´ll be able to feel the stretch in the poses, right now all I feel are stiff joints. There is a fine limit to how much pain is needed for change, and how much will just cause injury. I am trying to play the edge, I can handle some pain, I can handle a lot of pain, I´m just scared of injury. They say the body will simply not do what the body cannot do, so I will breathe through it and trust that my body will stop where it must.

On the good side, I feel a lot of internal motion, a lot of clicking and popping and inner shaking. It must be good, change is happening.

There is a nagging psychological component to it, a hurdle to get through, that voice that says ‘you won’t make it’, it talks to me all day, well here I´m talking back to it:

It says: You´re too old…starting at 30 hahahaha!! you fool! all you will achieve is injury….well to you I say: I will just practice everyday, the practice is what counts, the result will come on its own, 30 or 60, I can dedicate an hour of yoga every day and play it to my limit.

An hour! ha! you barely have time to sleep! busy work schedule, caving, learning a language, you´ll give up after a couple of days, just like you always do….to you I say: I will keep going, I will do it every day, I will find it in myself to have perseverance, I can´t give up, I need to keep trying even if I´ve failed many times before. This time I will make it!

What´s more, I’ve always wanted to be an acrobat, ever since I was a child, I did gymnastics for some years (ages 7-11), but I was too scared to ever do any of the advanced things. After that I’ve always thought that I lost my chance, if I didn´t get it then, it is too late. At 12 I thought it was too late, at 15 I had lost hope, at 17 I tried again and didn´t have resilience, all through my 20s I tried a few times didn’t manage to stick to a plan and gave up. Well NO MORE, this is the year when I will overcome myself.  I’ve already managed a lot, the caving has helped me see that I am capable of so much more than I think I am.

For now 30 days of yoga and taichi to release my hips and back, I know that that will open the door for so much more. I am a warrior, I am an amazon, I am a seer, I am a knower,  I will win the fight against myself, I will do it!

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30 days of Opening up

I’ve had a bit of a week, it’s been difficult to get through as I had a situation at work, a colleague is attacking me, trying to make me look bad to the boss. I almost gave up, had almost decided to quit,  had a very dark day, and just getting through all I had to do was a big hurdle. The week is over now, the work is done, and some posturing on my part was necessary and performed, like an actress. Puufff….that is all I can say.

As usual, difficult times help us grow, and as far as difficult goes, it could be much worst.  My bad mental state this week made me re-evaluate what I am doing in general with my life, and where my priorities are. I need to make it count, my priorities have shifted, things I was after before no longer interest me, things I’ve neglected are now calling my attention once more.

So I have a new project (here I go again), I will do 30 days of yoga. I want to open up to light and spirit, I’ve come to learn that whenever I want to do something in my spiritual aspects, doing it in the physical gets it rolling faster. It goes both ways, you change spiritually and you will change physically; so it follows that if you change physically you will change spiritually. There are schools of thought that argue one approach over the other, I think both are valid depending on the person. True body opening cannot happen if the spirit is forgotten, tension will not release if the spirit doesn’t let it go. The spirit is indeed capable of transcending the body, it can ascend despite of the body, but the body is not capable of ascending without the spirit. So, just as I started going into the caves to face fear, and I found courage instead; I will do yoga to face stress and find release. Stress is a kind of fear, all our anxieties and insecurities bunch up our muscles. We lose good posture and that deepens the issue. Starting to work on stress is, well, stressful, because you suddenly realize just how bad your body feels, how neglected it is. It might even seem that trying relaxation techniques causes stress, it is not so, it only causes awareness of previously ignored stress. This is the first step, awareness and observation. One must acknowledge an issue in order to deal with it.

I’ve done yoga on and off for several years now. Constancy has never been my strength, so this will also be a test of will and perseverance. I’ve gotten to what I would call an ‘advanced beginner’ level, there are certain things I can do rather well, but I’ve been stuck in them for quite a while now. Today I did a long yoga practice and realized why I’ve been stuck, I have a weak and painful back and I’m afraid to do poses that work it woo much. I’ve been working on the extremities thinking that when they are better I will work the core, when the reality is completely backwards, start with the core. I’ve been unconsciously thinking that I will work the back once it gets better (it just keeps getting worst); the conundrum is that I need to work the back in order for it to get better. So I’ve ignored it. My poor back suffers more and more, I have tight hips, a very sore lower back and tight shoulders. At times the lower back pain is so much it is debilitating, not crippling, but constant throughout the day and it sucks away at my energy. This has been going on for 12 years now (12 YEARS! HOW COULD I LET THAT HAPPEN?)  My head juts forward and my neck is very tight most of the time. I have reduced neck and shoulder mobility in comparison to the average person my age. 

Where I’m good at some types of poses, the ones I tried today for the back and shoulders were very difficult to even begin to reach. Some I couldn’t even get into for more than a breath, some not at all. I’m a beginner again. I didn’t realize how much I’ve neglected to do these types of stretches, how much I’ve neglected my back health. I’m taking it easy, but taking it, going methodically and carefully, working with the muscles under the assumption that they are injured and need to be nursed back into alignment and health.

I already feel the effects of the long session I did today. I know that yoga is the key to get rid of my back ache, it used to be that after a couple of sessions the pain was gone. Now it takes longer, but I know that this is the ‘cure’. It was wonderful to tease the muscles and bones into aligning and opening, I feel a flow of energy and a lot of things re accommodating inside me. I also got that nice feeling of ‘wow I didn’t know there was a muscle there’. The most peculiar case were the head exercises, super simple exercises to correct rounded back and head forward position, it made me dizzy, like a headrush. I suppose as I straighten the veins and more blood can flow I feel as though I’m getting a head rush, I’m not used to that healthy feeling  of having a healthy flow of blood to the head anymore.

I have a strategy for my 30 days of yoga:

– Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, more if possible. – If 30 minutes are too much for one day do at least 10, but don’t let two days in a row pass with only 10 minutes.

– Do progressive core and back flexibility/strength exercises.

– Post progress here periodically to keep a log.

– Have fun and enjoy.

 

 

Depression

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a working day, and I haven’t gotten out of bed. I opened one eye, dialed in to a telco in the  morning, slept through it, opened one eye to sign out and went back to sleep. I didn’t even get up to drink water or go to the toilet, my place is a mess, there are things on the ground everywhere, there’s barely space to step around.

Although I’ve been thinking I am ok, I need to look at this moment with honesty and admit to myself that something is wrong. I’m no longer motivated to do my job, it’s not the job’s fault, it is me who lost the drive to do things. I’m seriously homesick. I just don’t see the meaning in any of this. Thinking of not renewing my contract and just going back home, I don’t know how serious I am about it though. I have a personal rule to not make life changing decisions when I am depressed.  The only good thing is that I’ve kept up the sports activities on the weekends, if I have drive to do sports the situation is not so desperate. I haven’t been able to train on my own though.

This is the moment when I look at myself and admit that I am not as ok as I pretend to be. I need to take action to change this, but I don’t quite know what to do. I couldn’t stand the thought of getting up and going to the office, my absence is not noted because we are allowed to work at home from time to time. I just don’t want to see people, I need to be alone, can’t even stand TV right now.

I’ll increase the sports level, that usually helps, I’ll start doing it even though I don’t feel like it. I know that motivation is caused by doing, not the other way around. I’ve always told myself: ‘don’t wait to be motivated in order to do something, just start doing it and motivation will come’. Another part of me tells me: just give up, go back to sleep it is useless to fight the laziness.

As usual I battle my two wolves, this comic describes it beautifully:

http://zenpencils.com/comic/94-the-two-wolves/

94. The Two Wolves.

Hearing voices in the cave?

Today I went to a super nice cave. It is all vertical, very narrow at parts, and all rope work. I did it once before a year ago, I thought it was super  hard, I almost lost it on the longest of the ropes. This time it went smoothly and we did really good time, I’m pleased with my own physical progress. It was just me and another guy who I will call Rambo because he is Rambo-like, in a good way. I really like doing caves with him because he loves it, and he is so full of energy and confidence, it’s always fun. I digress.

In the entrance of the cave there is a plaque in memory of two people who died there some years ago, there was a heavy rain and they drowned-froze going up the ropes, not on the same occasion I think. It is not uncommon to find memorials in the entrances of deep caves so I ignored it as usual. When we were pretty deep in the cave, I thought I heard someone talking. I thought,  ohh no, not another group of people, it will be uncomfortable with two sets of ropes. At some point Rambo said, ‘what was that noise?’ someone’s talking!

Anyway, we went all the way down, past the big 90 ft pit, had a snack and a chat, and I started making my way up. I was feeling quite pleased with myself for being able to go up nimbly and with good speed. As I reached an anchor point, I really really heard people talking. With my actual ears, not the usual voices in my head.  It was odd to find another group of cavers getting started late on Sunday evening, but not unheard of. I yelled at Rambo who was somewhere in a chamber beneath me, that there were people coming. He also heard them.

As we went up, there was no one.

Theories:

a) another group of cavers came to the cave, saw our ropes and were discouraged, so they left.  If this is the case it is very unlikely that we would have heard them, because the ropes start at the very beginning of the cave, and then you go down through a succession of vertical chambers, sometimes going a bit to the side, and at some point we passed some horizontal tunnels as well before descending some more. I don’t think sound would travel from the cave entrance to the big pit where we heard the voices.

b) Somehow sound from outside travels through the cave, and we heard some people passing by. Unlikely because it was a dark, drizzly Sunday evening on what is basically farm land. I doubt anyone would be around there, and I doubt that sound from outside would be able to go into the cave. On the time I was there before, there were a lot of people from the club outside, and we couldn’t hear them until we were back at the entrance pits.

c) Both Rambo and I heard something other.

I’m not sure what the explanation is, I have a feeling it is option c, before I heard the voices I felt a nagging in the back of my neck, dismissed it as usual cave jitters.  I’m really happy that Rambo heard it too, feels reassuring that I wasn’t having a nervous break down without knowing it. Whatever the reason it got me thinking about the kids that died in the cave, in the deep pit. I tend to have an over active imagination, but still, they did die there.

The voices sounded like normal cavers going about their business, just enjoying the sport. If it was them, then I think they died a good death, doing something they loved, their passion. If their spirits are still there reliving the cave, they are doing it in the good moments before the flood hit (imagine waterfalls).  I really hope that no one I know dies in a cave, myself included, but it would be worst to die after a long life of never taking risks (calculated risks of course).  Of never knowing passion in one way or another.

Later I was joking with Rambo that the cave is haunted, he just said ‘don’t say that’, then he got serious and didn’t want to talk about it. He quickly changed the subject and we were soon laughing about something else.

The kids died too young, but it was a good death, may they lay their heads and find peace. Here a prayer that they may rest in peace.

A daily life of Feeling

In  my daily life I try to be a happy and upbeat person. I have a good sense of humor, I like to make people laugh and smile.  I’ve had a rough patch for some time, but I feel like I’m getting back to myself now. It doesn’t really show on this blog, because this is where I work through the hard things, I unload it all here and keep it safely away from my daily musings. It is an outlet of sorts, a much needed one. This way I can work through all the intricacies of seeing the self and live my life at the same time. It’s a balance, sometimes it tips more one way than the other, but it more or less works.

I’m rather empathic, which means that I feel what people around me feel. This leads to me wanting people around me to feel good, call me selfish, but that also makes me feel good. So I put a lot of effort into making people around me comfortable, I’m like a chameleon, I adapt my conversation and attitude towards them, to make them feel at ease and peace. Sometimes I’ve thought I’m being ‘fake’ since I can be so different with one person or another, but I’ve slowly come to realize that it is more a matter of being ‘adaptable’. I have from time to time lost myself in someone’s ideas or personality, it happens with people who are very dominant and radiate their emotions and ideas loudly. I can adapt myself to them for a while, but if their values don’t resonate with mine, I soon find myself in conflict and I must get away from them. It’s been a learning process, however, realizing that those thoughts are not my own, that those emotions are not my own, and that I am living someone else’s drama. It’s really ok to feel other people’s emotions, as long as I know it. Which is why it is so important to know myself, so that I can identify what is mine and what is not.

On the other hand, people who know me for a while, tend to want me to be around. Because I make them feel good. People like to feel good. Simple as that. I’ve seen it happen many times, I am a glue in a group, I keep the group together, I help smooth out discomforts in a group, I help make things flow. When I leave, the group falls apart or grows distant. I like to bring joy to people, to make them see the best in themselves, I so clearly see it, I’m surprised they don’t know it right away. I like to take people and lift them up and help them help themselves. I don’t always succeed, but I sure try. 

It’s surprising what makes people feel good, sometimes they need a kind word, other times they need a diss or a lash out, and I give it to them and that makes them feel good. Which makes me feel good. Sometimes they need a harsh word so that they can see through their own selves. I also give them that, but with a bit of caution, as being harsh doesn’t always come naturally to me.

Mostly, I like to bring joy to people’s life, so I prefer to be around people who accept that joy and share it with me. I find it very difficult to be with people who will not accept my help or my joy. If I stay around them I am in conflict. When I find inspired people who are living their passion and spirit I feel myself uplifted. Being able to share my own joy and the joy of others is absolutely inspiring and just awesome.

That was the sunny side of things. Since I am myself, and I see the sun and the moon at the same time, I also see the more lunatic side of it.

People like to keep me around, I make them feel good, and they want more of it. I try to inspire them to find that joy inside themselves, but sometimes they demand it from me, and without me they grow sad and distant. I feel it is my responsibility to make them happy, and if I don’t then I am failing. When I leave it is like a leave a hole in their lives, and I feel their pain about me leaving. And I leave often. I leave often. It is something I am trying to understand. I have moved away from everyone I loved, both my family and my love,  perhaps because I need to be away from them to find myself. And just as I see the best in people, I also see the worst in them. I can also make someone see  themselves with truth, and that makes many people very very uncomfortable. I keep a balance, since my intention is not to break someone but rather uplift them, but someone who will not see himself will not last long around me. Although they will still want me around to make them feel good. Only as long as I am giving them what they want. It hurts me.

I come in, I touch people’s lives, I encourage them to see through the veil, to feel joy in their hearts. Then I leave. I don’t know what it is, I have a restlessness in me, I have periods of calm, but at some point the restlessness starts again and I know it is time to move. Over the past five years I’ve lived in 4 different countries. Always, at some point, I just have to leave. I am sort of controlling the ‘otherness’ in me by looking for adventure, caving and climbing and snowboarding and rappelling.  But I can feel it pushing at me, letting me be for the time being, but it will call me into movement once I’m done here. Done with what? I don’t know.

What I do know is that I want to be more the joy bringer than the unveiler of truths. Even though the two of them they seem to come together. Luna and Sol always at the same time. I am making a statement, I am making it my mission to bring joy to people around me, even if it is just for an instant. A moment of laughter, a smile.

About death and suicides

In my dreams I’ve died countless deaths, all of them sudden or violent. I wrote about it in a previous post called The endless plight of the Unknowers. 

Today I made my day difficult. I had a breakdown of sorts, for unexplained reasons, I just started crying and crying in despair. I couldn’t finish my work, I couldn’t even face and observe the crisis.  I did what I usually do, I resorted to food, make the belly ache, it will make the other feelings fade. Having a crisis made me think about death, so here another post about it.

There is a lot to be said about death and the moment of death, so much that I don’t know where to start. For now I want to talk about suicide. Experiencing a death through suicide was one of the most scarring and scary events of my life, it wasn’t really a dream, it was a waking experience of sorts. I only recently identified it a death through an experience someone shared with me. In my waking life I’ve never felt inclined towards suicide, don’t see the point in it really.

I wrote about this experience when I started this blog in  My Own Fear. 

It went more or less like this, I woke up in the middle of the night and felt paralyzed, it was fear of the soul, fear of the heart, way beyond fear of dying. There was a presence next to me, it wanted to break me, break my soul, break my heart. I felt such intense fear, so much angst that I thought, in that one moment, that I wanted to die to just get away from it. It was a desire for more than just physical death, it was in a way looking for a spiritual suicide, a desire to just stop being altogether. Completely irrational and wordless, primal.

I have many interpretations of that one experience, and I think all of them are true. One is what I wrote in the previous post, that fear is a part of me that I’ve neglected. Another interpretation, now that I accept the deaths I have died through the experience of others, is that I died the death of a suicide. I went through the angst and the mental state of someone who messed with things she wasn’t ready for, lost her mind to fear, and committed suicide. These deaths I experience, they are not really my death in previous lives or something, I feel spirits and so I experience their last moments. On occasion I know I’ve experienced my own deaths, but that is another topic.

Suicide goes against our survival instinct, in order to commit suicide a person has to overcome an innate instinct and drive for survival. Our bodies, both physical and ethereal, are built to want to survive, they are protected in this way. Although a suicide caused their own death, they do not necessarily accept it, they will keep on living and reliving that last heart wrenching moment of insanity that led them to overcome their own nature and kill themselves. The pity is that only very strong souls could do this, they were nearly there, nearly at the point of reaching a higher vibration, if only they would have held on a bit longer. Just like the other souls that died unexpectedly they are trapped in the endless loop of unknowing.

Except that they broke their soul, I can’t quite explain this. The soul gets broken into pieces due to suicide, the soul gets split, fragmented and jagged. It falls, and falls, and keeps breaking. If the spirit is lucky enough to realize it has died, it can try to put itself back together, but it will be a long and difficult road.

A call to those who might ever experience the insanity that leads to suicide: it will pass, it will get better, hold on, just hold on. If you have the strength and drive to overcome your own nature and take your life, then trust me, you have the strength to continue.

On the other hand I believe it is something that can also occur during the dark night of the soul. At some point you want to stop being everything you have been, but you don’t know yet what else you could be. This process of ‘death in oneself’ is very difficult, and we may be driven to want to end the physical life as well. Don’t do it, hold on, just keep going.

I wish I could do something to help, if you or someone you know is in danger of committing suicide, I beg you, seek help. Contact me, I can at least lend an ear, I’ll do a reading for you, give you advise, do a healing, teach you about energy and protection. Or just simply, I’ll listen.

luna.solaris1@gmail.com

All my love,

Luna Sol

It was that experience that made me get started on the spiritual path, so in a way it was a good thing, or I would have continued on oblivious as I was before.

Smile with your liver

I’m allowing myself to feel, I’m allowing myself to feel everything I need to feel. I’m allowing myself to feel love. I’m allowing myself to feel compassion. I’m allowing myself to feel it all, I accept it.

I’ve had several small moments of joy lately. They happen for no reason in particular, just at one moment I will think of my mother and suddenly I feel all her love for me and I’m filled with joy. It is so much and so beautiful that it always brings a tear to my eyes. I’m allowing myself to feel it, I also miss her more, and that is ok. Other times, it just happens spontaneously, without any particular reason, I suddenly feel, in my body a surge, like a gush of happiness from my navel up to my heart and then it bubbles out as a bit of a tear in my eyes.

I suppose this is what it feels like to smile with the liver, like they say in that book ‘eat, pray, love’,  it is an internal smile. A smile with my insides, a chuckle, some love and light. It is the grace of the Spirit. I am opening up my heart to the inner smile, it has always been there, I was ignoring it along with all the creepy feelings. When I shut out the bad I also shut out the good. I shut it out of my conscious awareness, but it was always there anyway, in dreams, in my knotted muscles, my clenched jaw.

I braced myself and got ready to open up to perceptions. I prepared for the worst, only to discover that I needed only relax and let nature run its course. I need to relax into myself, I know I can face it now. I was ready for the worst, but I was surprised by the beauty. I wasn´t ready for all the beauty, for the moment of knowing someone, for the beauty of healing, for the beauty of a ray of sunlight, for the beauty of mist. I wasn’t ready for that moment of bliss while walking down the street while running errands. I didn’t know it would be so beautiful. 

I wasn’t ready for the empowerment of making my own choices regarding perceptions. It is encouraging and I feel I am beating back the fear that has haunted me for a long time. I wasn’t ready for the beauty of someone else letting me feel their soul in search for their true meaning. I am awed at the beauty I’ve been missing out on. I’m awed at the beautiful emotions that I had rejected along with the bad ones. I am re-evaluating decisions I’ve made in my life, I am deciding I want to make more decisions based on love from now on. I am looking up at the light, I am rising and I want to help others rise with me. 

 

A confrontation with ‘IT’

The last few nights have been difficult, for about a week or so I haven´t been able to sleep well. I´ve been feeling a certain presence, not necessarily bad but not necessarily good either. It was making things move around my place, like suddenly a piece of paper at the other side of the room would fall to the floor, or something in the bathroom falls and makes a noise, or my caving equipment rattles for no reason (metal on metal). Also, lights have been flickering. It’s related to the voices I’ve been hearing, like it had a message for me, wanted me to write something for it. I haven´t really wanted to listen to it, much less write it’s story. I find it creepy enough, although I do usually want to help where I can. Every time I would think about it, some pipe would creak, or one of the above things would happen. This has been going on ever since I read a book about exorcisms written by a catholic priest, and increased after some other readings I did on the matter.

Finally last night I said out loud ‘I’m not writing that story’, ‘period’. Although I don´t fully know the story right now, because I don’t want to think about it, I know that I would know it if I started writing it. I went to sleep without difficulty, and for once I wasn’t jumping at creepy noises. I had some intense dreams. And I mean INTENSE. I don’t remember all of it like a sequence, but here it is more or less how it went. I recall we were in some sort of futuristic construction, like one of those modern bridges that look like whale bones or something, built out of whitewashed rounded concrete and very brightly lit. It was night time and I was not alone, I was with my guide, my angel. I was up and ready for battle, the same type of readiness I feel right before going to a cave. Preparations had been made, I was ‘wearing’ all the necessary equipment- of a psychological nature of course. I was ready for the confrontation although I didn’t know that a confrontation was about to happen. 

The confrontation itself, I don´t remember clearly. I remember it wanted to scare me into losing my mind, as usual, I was ready this time. I was scared yes, but keeping my wits, determined. Angels were called, angels came, specially the warrior Archangel Saint Michel, liberation prayers were uttered, signs were drawn in the air, crosses were lifted, hands were lifted. I held my stance, I said the words, I called for help, I felt the help next to me, I felt the attack of it back. IT was driven back, banished from my presence. Several times, in several time frames, in several different stories, with several different repercussions. I´ve mentioned before that time in dreams is not linear, I can ‘see’ an event and all the consequences, and future re-occurrences of that event, all at the same time. I´ve learned to manage the flow of information so I can understand it, more or less, when I wake up. So, the banishment was successful, for some reason I had to do it myself, the angels were there to let me know I was protected, but it was up to me to do it. Apparently, it was following me for some reason, and I had to decide out of my own free will whether to keep it or dispatch it. I was doubtful because I always want to help where I can, but sometimes maybe I’m not ready, or I there is nothing I can really do to help. Either way I only want to help when the intention behind things are good. I decided to dispatch it.

I don’t quite want to talk about what IT is, or rather who IT is. I feel a block in that aspect when I start thinking about it, so at least for now I’ll let it be. This morning I woke up without fear, but absolutely exhausted, bone weary. I felt hungover, although I didn’t have any alcohol last night, I was thirsty and I had a headache almost all day. My apartment feels like a nice place again, and noises are once again just noises, not ominous creepy signs. I can begin to relax, I can begin to unclench my shoulders.

Sometimes I don´t know if I am imagining it all, and in reality I am just going crazy. Either way, I feel better energy around me today, so that is good. Maybe I’m just fighting my own mind, maybe it´s both internal and external at once.

Decisions…Make it count

I have made an important decision. Not too big just yet, but important, I am writing it down in order to record it, to make it official to myself and so I do not forget it.

The motives: I just had a bit of a crisis moment this evening. I enjoyed a lovely weekend doing nice sport activities with enjoyable people. I felt refreshed, full of energy, and this allowed me to think about things and about why I haven’t been feeling refreshed like this lately. Also, I recently came back from a long stay with my family, who I live very far away from now, and I realize I really miss them and it is very hard to miss out on their lives while I am here.

The catharsis: I suddenly let myself imagine what it would be like to quit my current job and go back home, and I felt very relieved. So relieved I surprised myself, since I’m not sure about what job possibilities I would have at home. I chose to be where I am, I worked hard to get here, I have a good job that pays well, and I generally enjoy. Suddenly, I thought to myself:  ‘my contract ends in a few months, I could renew it, or I could just let it run it’s course and go home’. I allowed myself to imagine that possibility and I really liked it, I imagined what I would do with the few things I’ve acquired here, I imagined talking to my parents and asking to go back home, to start looking for a job there….I even made a little plan about what to do over there.

 I realize that I have let people – my bosses- push my work in a direction that I’m not interested in. I am a flexible person, I can compromise, I realize that they are short staffed and need help with things outside of my main focus. I said OK. However, I compromised too much, I haven’t had time to do what I like to do, what I wanted to do, what I came here for, ever since August, that is more than six months. I’ve just been struggling to get through work that I find bland, to work with material badly made in haste. I’ve been reacting to what people tell me I should do, I saw since November that our approach to a project was wrong. I didn’t say anything (I felt out of place since I am not leading, just supporting) and now I have to try and write a report based on bad data. I’ve been avoiding it like the plague, spacing out, getting distracted….Then I feel bad that I am not working with zest and quality.  What is worst is that my boss said he will assign me to more of that type of work, yet another flaky project. (the project itself is not flaky, just the approach, but I am powerless to change it).

The outcome: I’ve decided that this is not what I want to do. I am making a sacrifice here, I am away from my family, I would rather go back to them than continue producing bad quality uninteresting output. I don’t want to put my name on mediocre, recycled reports. I want to continue with my initial work. So, either I change the course of my work or I will not renew the contract. I am making the conscious decision instead of spacing out, producing bad quality work because I just don’t care, and then getting fired. I have to make it count. MAKE IT COUNT.

The action plan:

a) Simply re continue work on my own project, inform the boss of progress, and slowly and quietly back out of the other projects.

b) if a, doesn’t work within two weeks, talk to the boss. Look for a compromise on both sides, I would like to dedicate all my time to my initial project, he wants me to dedicate all my time to the other new projects. We negotiate and agree that I will have time to work on my project as long as I still support some functions of the other projects (in a limited way). In the meantime I will pick up my act and produce the best quality work I can given the circumstances, be responsible, do it for my own integrity.

c) Another possibility, which I write for the sake of completion, but I know I don’t want at all, is to work during work hours on the consulting stuff, and work on weekends on my things. Plenty of colleagues do this, but I really really do not want to do this. For my balance of life, for my sanity, I need my free time. I wouldn’t even get to it since I don’t want to do it, and it would mean doing half of everything, more half quality work. So no, this is not an option.

So they are short staffed, that is my boss’s problem, not mine; they signed contracts without having the resources to fulfill them, and now they want me to cover the slack. Not my responsibility, I need to learn to say no, they add tasks and responsibilities but they don’t add compensation.  I signed a contract to do the initial project, and occasionally contribute to other projects, occasionally, not as a rule. It’s been more than six months now since I’ve had honest time to sit down and look at the things I want to do. Enough is enough. I will make it count, or I will go back to my family.

In a previous job, when they were firing people because of the crisis we all started getting more and more responsibility. The same amount of work had to get done with less people to do it. My responsibilities grew and my paycheck didn’t. I got to a point where I was so stressed that I was only living from weekend to weekend. Before leaving the job I felt a bit guilty about leaving all my responsibilities behind. When I left I felt an immense sense of relief. Afterwards they hired two people to take up my functions, and one of them was management while I was still staff but doing management work. It happened because I didn’t know how to say ‘no’ back then. The organization will take care of itself, I have to take care of myself. The organization won’t miss me for long, my family misses me always, and I miss them.

So, the decision is made, I have let go of this job in my mind, I am no longer attached to it. I’ve let go of the money, security and comfort it brings. I’ve let go of living in this nice place. I am trusting that there will be other possibilities outside of this. It doesn’t necessarily mean I will leave, if I have it my way I would continue with my initial assignment and keep going here; but it has to be worth the effort. I feel good in my body about this decision. I feel at least two knots that have taken permanent lodgings in my back begin to unclench.