The best recipe when you hate your job

The other day someone wrote to me and asked: I’ve got multiple pages of writing on one very important and stressful topic.

Now what?

Great question.

Time to narrow things down a little. Time to really consider the beliefs rising within that feel so painful.

If you’re not sure, here’s what I like to do to get started:

First, I’ll make a list of interactions or moments with other people, incidents that happened, memories I have in my mind, that are all related to this topic of concern.

For example. Let’s say I’m worried I’m not doing a great job. (I had this thought the second day on staff at the School for The Work because I forgot to do something in my job description).

But let’s say it’s an overall stressful topic for you, when you think about work, employment, job, boss, your career. You’ve journaled on it. You’ve written about what you’d rather be doing. You’ve made a plan for yourself about how to change. You’re definitely troubled about the whole thing.

Now, make a list, as you look over your own journaling, of moments in time that were stressful when it comes to this topic. If you had a camera on these moments, and filmed the whole thing and saved them in your internal mental files, what memories would you say “prove” that this topic (in this case work) is stressful?

  • the moment at a staff meeting when my boss asked for a report and I didn’t have it, and she looked very disapproving
  • the moment one of my co-workers huffed with anger and said she had to do two jobs–hers, and mine!
  • the moment I received the assignment to create a database for new patients and update it weekly
  • the moment I’m in rush hour traffic taking 80 minutes to drive home, when it could take only 20 when not rush hour
  • the moment I had so little money left because of unemployment (before I got my job), I almost lost my house–I was sitting on my couch looking at my bank statement
Now I have some snapshots of moments I really dislike about working, and not working. My collection of what bothers me about the whole thing.

 

I start with one. There’s my scene from the troubling movie of my life. I see it vividly.

 

I then write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on that moment in time. Only that one. I start there. It narrows things down, puts it into a container the mind can handle.

 

Write all your troubles on the JYN. And then, of course (narrowing it down further to a small simple thought) we question what we’ve written on the JYN.

 

“She’s disappointed in me”. 
 
This thought is so different from “I hate my job”.

 

It drills into our overall blanket concepts and digs into why, how, where, studying the details of this experience of life we think of as “bad” or “wrong” or something we’d prefer not to encounter.

 

And wow.

 

When these specific concepts are taken to inquiry….

 

….how fascinating to discover they may not be as bad as we think.

 

Or just maybe, they may have had something to offer of deep importance.

 

Who would I be without my story of difficulty with working, employment, money-earning, bosses?

 

When I did this work in the past, I noticed I was freer, just one little bit at a time. I was more relaxed, I opened up to my boss, I had a difficult discussion with the co-worker I thought was always watching me like a hawk, I started enjoying the commute with my CDs to listen to on the way home, I noticed the gorgeous fountain in front of one of the buildings of the organization I worked for.

 

So much that was good about that job.

 

And more important, my attitude adjusted automatically, without me having to try, without me having to plan on how I would be quitting and what I could do to solve the problem.

 

Just a wee bit at a time–one thought at a time–taken to inquiry.

 

“What you’re thinking about them [or it] is the recipe for what you want.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love,

Grace

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