Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rx for Rajas*

One of my chief challenges is not cowering from criticism. I don't do well with orders, and I don't do well with scolding.

So when someone wants to give me feedback...I know I screwed up.

Yesterday, I was humming along, happy to be working and have family here. And then I was informed of all the things I was doing wrong including making calls to my family (once every two or three days) and checking my personal e-mail during office hours (guilty) etc.

My first reaction was to shut down. My eyes glazed over, the little flame inside of me was being fed with each word she told me. I stomped out with my new assignment and immediately felt the hot, annoying tears. Head down, strides long, I made it to my room before breaking down.

How could they do this to me. Nobody ever trained me like other interns. I was thrown into this, I do more than they ever ask and faster than they ever could. I come up with ideas spontaneously that they use every single day.

And the b.s. continued as I made it to work. Secretly wanting everyone to know that I was mad. The irrational thoughts continued with force and I told myself I would only allow myself to be mad until midnight. And then I would put it to rest.

Luckily, I only made it to 4:30. I went to asana class with my mat and my fury. As predicted, the fire began to subside with every breath. By the time I finished my first sun salutation I was smiling. And by final relaxation, it never happened.

It was almost embarassing how quickly I became rational again. Every time we get angry, we know exactly what can make us happy. Corny, easy things like bubble baths, puppies and friends. But we choose to lock ourselves up in front of our computers or stomp around with dumbells on our shoulders, becoming wrinkled and tight from the anger.

It's nice to have therapy built into the schedule. Whatever comes up must be dispelled quickly since I have asana class, meditation or dinner with friends soon after. As my friend put it, "Karma burns at double-speed here."

In other news, we went to a meditation lecture followed by a folk concert in a venue called the "Chicken Coop." The name was not one of those cutesy seriously used to be a chicken coop. I love Honesdale sometimes.

* Rajas = One of the three gunas (qualities) that we have inside of us. It is the quality of fire, passion, anything active and variable within us.


Raju said...

Hi Anki, I thought you handled the criticism quite well. How does that saying go? Treat praise and blame the same for they are both imposters of the real. Everything in life is just an experience and each on fleeting. What is there to grab on to? before the next one is already upon us? Baba

S. Wilkerson said...

Rao, you're so much better than me at these sorts of things. I wish you could bonk me over the head. I've been dealing with problems of my own here, but I can't seem to let go of the anger. I miss you.

P.S. Why can't you call your family?

Ankita said...

Thanks daddy! I'm trying!

Anonymous said...

I loved this one, totally understand your feelings and reaction to the "feedback" ( funny, because in my internship feedback is a HUGE term for everyone to learn to give and receive!) learned with you about carrying anger to no advantage :) good lesson