Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Returning to Routine

Today I have been finding it interesting to observe how I chafe a bit at returning to my routine. Given the high level of anxiety traveling causes me, getting ready to go & the initial journey, I'd think that I should welcome the return to the routine. Yet I found myself feeling a little bit of irritation at the play of emails and meetings.

It isn't that I still want to be on holiday. I was wanting to get back to yoga classes, Zazen, tasks around the house & garden -- but to get back to my job today was challenging. Chafe is the right word. Like I was rubbing psychically against the routine of it, the ever growing task list, the talk of the contract negotiations in August, just the usual stuff.

My strengths lie not in the usual stuff of my job although those day-to-day tasks provide excellent practice for cultivating patience, compassion, deep listening, and even just the practical organization of tasks. So very useful just not always compelling. I've felt like I've ended up at this place due to skill, but not on purpose. I'm doing what I happen to have good aptitude for, not what I actually feel I should be doing.

I told my teacher once that I didn't feel very connected with the Dharma in what I do to make a living. Not that I feel that I'm working in a path that is unethical, I just do not feel as connected as I'd prefer to be. I said when I teach a handful of beginners how to do yoga I feel that connection deeply. Of course that's obvious and he immediately pointed out to me however remote, my job did connect me to people in important ways.

After some interesting discussions with CK and AM I think I can see this differently. I feel deeply connected to the Dharma when I am with yoga students because I am teaching. I do not have nearly the opportunities to teach in my career and that's why I feel the lack of connection.

This is something I am somewhat aware of and have discussed with my manager, but it isn't something that much can be done for. Although she would like to move me to doing more coaching and project management, I'm really needed to keep doing the programming that often leaves me feeling somewhat drained. The atmosphere has tension to it with many recent, downsized retirements, inter-team conflicts & personal clashes, and every couple of years two summers with contract negotiations in August. Yes, excellent practice for being with things just as they are.

I think that feeling of resistance in getting back to the job routine is having spent a week away spending time on building the foundation my relationship with CK by traveling together for the first time. She is full of encouragement and determination that a path to my becoming a teacher as my career. She and AM both know that what I do now is important, but not what I really should do with the rest of my life. To move back to the early, slow, boring steps is what chafes a bit.

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