Saturday, March 20, 2010

Austerity #2: Saumya -- soft outside, diamond-strong inside

After four days of working Austerity #2, saumya, at work last week, I think I may have found a key, if not The Key, not only to how to get through however much longer I am going to have to stay in this job, but also to just getting along better in the world. Saumya is just another way of saying the thing I keep hearing in yoga, about being soft on the outside and diamond-strong on the inside, a big big challenge for me but clearly I need to keep hearing it and get on with doing it already.

The way that saumya manifested for me at work was that I proceeded about my tasks more slowly and I chose my words far more deliberately, going for a gentleness of expression. I took the "knowing exactly how much strength to apply in any given situation, using just as much force as necessary, nothing more" as instructions on how to communicate. Really, I feel like mostly that's all my work really is, moving information from one set of people to another. And in several difficult situations, I was glad to be able to express an idea, provide a suggestion or difference of opinion with strength but without sharpness. Now that's some saumya for sure, and oh so very much more effective. Not every situation calls for a knife.

And at work, I do believe I am known more for the knife.

The combination of the manah-prasadah and the saumya -- contentedness of mind and gentleness -- made for a much more pleasant work day, and one I could walk away from 100% when I walked out the door. I was clear and direct but without rancor. Added bonus: I don't feel like I carried home any of the usual gunk, maybe because I didn't accumulate any. Aha, very, very interesting.

Don't get me wrong: my days in this occupation are numbered because I really do need to get off my a** and do the thing I'm here for, and soon. But at least working these yogic austerities is helping me be present where I have to be right now with a whole lot more grace and joyfulness, way less bitching and moaning. How delightful that I'm about to add austerity #3 to the menu for the week: mauna, silence. Now that will be really fun.

No comments: