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Learning to Remain Calm in Difficult Work Situations

Experience submitted by Roy Scheffers

When I took Belsebuub’s Esoteric Wisdom Course I was taught about the source of negative thoughts, emotions and impulses and the ability to act without them. I learned that this would be possible to do if I was able to see my thoughts and emotions in the first place. Once I saw them, I had the opportunity to learn about them, and could pray for their removal within that moment.

Difficulties in the Workplace

I found this particularly helpful in difficult situations, for example, at work.

 At the time I had a job at a help desk where I had to deal with customers who had varying issues with their internet or digital TV. Some issues were easy, others hard.

Especially those cases where people were taking their issue personally; e.g., an important soccer match is about to start, you have friends over and the TV stops working.

You’d be surprised by just how much harder it was dealing with people in those situations when they are emotionally involved and are having a hard time following instructions clearly.

Nevertheless, that was what my teammates and I had to deal with. It helped to try not to take things personally and show understanding.

Creating an Inner Order

However, the real value I found was in how to internally observe emotions and feelings, and pray for their removal. 
Starting out using this technique I learned in Belsebuub’s course, I found it challenging as I was used to living life without it. I kept forgetting throughout the day and life would just overwhelm me. It seemed that I had to be persistent with it throughout the day as well as keep certain inner order to see my thoughts and emotions clearly.

I found that when there was no order, everything would be muddled inside.

 I tried a recommendation from Belsebuub’s work to bring more order into my external life to help to make it easier to have a clearer inner state. To do this I tried to start my day calmly instead of rushed. I would get up on time and if time allowed it, I would do a mantra or concentration practice. I also made sure I was slightly early at work. This allowed me to get organized and have all my systems up to help customers.

Public domain image found here.(Image has been modified)
Public domain image found here.(Image has been modified)

This outer order then also created a certain inner order. As a result, fewer thoughts would go through my mind and emotionally I felt more stable. During calls, I tried to stay focused. I would listen to the customer when they spoke, search the system for answers when needed, talk back with attention and would often notice my posture and relax any tension.

Moments of Peace

With a better organization of my day, I felt more present. That in itself was a great breakthrough. At certain times I would have these peaceful moments and life seemed to have vibrancy to it. I would also remember to observe my inner world more often.

As the day went by, I saw where that peace and clarity was taken away. Specific situations would bring it about; certain people were involved and related thoughts and feelings were triggered by the events. 

For example, when people would speak to me in a denigrating manner, it could bring up an oppressive feeling within me — a kind of tension in my stomach and/or chest.

I would behave differently too and feel slightly afraid to ask questions. In other cases, people in a hurry could make me feel rushed too. My movements would be hurried and sometimes incautious when searching for information as well as in my speaking and thinking.

Also insecurity about the cause of a problem made me feel incompetent and could lead to further worrying. It was a new world within me that all of a sudden opened up, and it wasn’t a very pleasant sight to be honest. So, as soon as I noticed an emotion, feeling or thought taking away my focus and peace, I’d pray for its removal and bring myself back to what I was doing.

Making Progress

When I did this correctly, I could see smaller emotions or thoughts go away. When they were larger, it would take longer to remove them.

 Work became a really helpful learning environment, not only professionally, but more so personally and spiritually.

Over time I could see I became less affected by customers’ emotions or attitudes as I would not get tangled up with theirs. When people were angry or pushy, I was able to keep calm and get to the point to fix their issue. I noticed how my thoughts and emotions were controlling me, what kinds of efforts were needed to remove them, and how I would feel when I succeeded.

Besides the learning I was going through, a nice benefit was that I ended my shift with energy to spare as I wasn’t spending it on unwanted thoughts and feelings. Professionally, my call stats improved too showing me that my inner efforts were having a positive effect on my job performance — so the boss was happy too. 🙂 Seeing the benefits of this technique, I was more determined to apply it more diligently to other areas of my life.

Another Point of View

Having learned about dealing with conflicts at work, this knowledge directly applied to the following situation which made me appreciate the technique of the elimination of the ego and what it can do even more. It involved a discussion with someone close to me. We were discussing a very personal subject which we had an opposing view on.

The situation felt like a greater challenge from what I experienced at work as thoughts and feelings were much stronger. During our discussion, I tried to hold on to my inner clarity and prayed many times for the removal of nasty inner states that arose.

It was tricky but towards the end of the discussion, for a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of that person’s core and felt a deep understanding and love towards them. It totally surprised me and made me act very spontaneously according to the feeling.

That turned the discussion around for the better and, despite having different views on a subject, we were able to see each others’ viewpoint and were accepting of it.

  • A similar situation was happening in my job and I came back now to read your post, Roy, and I found a lot I can relate with.

    One way is to suppress the anger, have positive thinking and attitude, but I didn’t find this beneficial. And be passive (not reacting) is very close to that but I think is the most effective way, to begin with until reaching to a wise response. But, I’m glad I know the work of Belsebuub so I can apply them in those situations instead of suppressing my frustration.
    But still, if not everything is understood, there is something that can be suppressed and next time frustration will be triggered again and it will come up as a new way of reaction. Maybe smarter than before but still ego based.

    When these incidents started happening almost on a daily basis at my work, I thought that I had this job more because of my need for learning and less for covering my living costs. When I start it was the opposite. I don’t know how did you decide to change job and if these stressful circumstances made you do this, but in my case, after I reached a point of understanding how to act in those cases and what was going on, the circumstances changed and I have to move to another job anyway.

    And to say the truth, using a job for self-knowledge is more fascinating than for building a career and making money. And maybe, in this case, someone is coming across job opportunities which are based on different standards.

    All the best with your journey!

    • I’m glad you’ve been able to use your work situation to gain self-knowledge Fotis. Yes, I think the learning in difficult situations is gradual, with new understanding leading to more layers being revealed over time, which we then need to work upon.

      I wish you success in gaining further learning and self-knowledge from your current situation.

  • Thanks Roy for sharing your experiences.

    Dealing with egos at the other end of a phone call can be a huge challenge. I see how you have integrated the work of Belsebuub into your ‘paid work’ and how small steps towards achieving inner peace can be achieved on a daily basis.

    Forgetting to be aware on a daily basis and asking to be clear of any controlling and over-powering egos is a big trap for myself. Setting reminders and constant asking seems to work.

  • Yes moving to a new place can give that order we have a shock and we have to find ways to create it again in the new situation. If order and peace are enough valued, I’m sure you’ll find ways to bring it back again 😉

  • Roy, Nice account of your experience you’ve shared! Well written and quite organized and you can see you’re applying the ‘Creating An Inner Order’ section quite well. I enjoyed that section a good deal too as I’ve realized lately how important the orderly household is for me personally. As you know we’ve moved to a new place this summer and it’s still feels as if we’re in transition with regular construction happening, re-organization etc.. followed by bouts of disorder. But as things get tidied up as much as currently possible I feel naturally drawn to a sitting practice to clean the upstairs too 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing this account Roy. It looks like you were able to put to good effect the technique of removing lower inner states in various situations of daily life. I think many of us will be able to relate to the feeling of tension that can come when we are being pressured to do something in a rush, and what you mentioned shows that by not going along with these feelings, you were able to actually help the customers in a better way and to do your job to a better standard. Although the workplace may seem like such a mundane environment, which has little to do with spiritual practice, you have shown that it can actually be a great school of learning, if we can use the situations that crop up there for self-knowledge. In fact, it’s in these mundane situations of everyday life where we can often learn the most about ourselves. When we are in a spiritual practice room, we may not so easily see our reactions to others, but in the workplace, we are placed alongside people who may have all sorts of difficult behaviours, which we need to learn to deal with in the best way we can.

    I have to say your comment about some of the customers’ complaints also made me laugh, where you mentioned “an important soccer match is about to start, you have friends over and the TV stops working.” From an outside perspective, it seems ridiculous that people can be so emotionally involved over such a trivial event, particularly when compared with the terrible suffering that so many in the world have to endure on a daily basis. But when we look deeper, it’s clear how many of our own thoughts are self-centred and petty. I’m sure we can all think of certain things that others do to “push our buttons” and create all sorts of emotional turmoil within us, whereas from an objective point of view, these things are of no great importance.

    We can’t always change the behaviours of others, but it’s great that you were able to find ways to become more objective in your response to events around you and from this gain more clarity within.

  • Customer service is a tough place to start when learning to understand all those negative thoughts and emotions! A nice interactive learning “playground” though 🙂 It’s good to hear this inner work had a positive impact on your work too — wouldn’t it be incredible if that was the norm: approaching work each day with the aim of cutting down on all the negative attitudes and cycles that can become so common-place..

    • You are right Jenny, it was a fast environment, and anyone who worked in customer service can tell you it’s often not easy. But at the same time I think I would have been so determined if things were easy or if I had a lot of free time.

      It would be incredible if that approach would be the norm, I might have stayed at the job a little longer 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences, Roy.
    I can definitely relate to them.
    I’ve also noticed that, keeping our attention, really observing ourselves, situations, environments, people, helps us feel life flowing and love manifesting in all that is – I’m really grateful for the techniques Belsebuub has taught.

  • Thank you, Roy, for sharing your perspective into the workplace. Some of them I use also them. But you also gave me another interesting perspective how to deal with people.

    As Karim said “Tidiness, punctuality, taking care of administrative stuff promptly etc” are important premises in order to have the proper internal situation to observe oneself and apply the elimination.

    Finally, the details in behavior make a big difference.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience Roy. I can relate pretty easily, even working in a call centre! Very inspiring that you were able to find peace and a deeper connection with someone through your efforts. It’s so easy for indifference to prevail. I recall when I worked a call centre receiving calls to reschedule hospital appointments I would often read from websites online between calls in a very unfocussed way, clicking from one page to the next. The reading was allowed and fine according to the employer, some of what I would read would be spiritual texts (on some shifts you had a long time between calls), but if it wasn’t organised reading it would leave me feeling tired and unfocussed. When I consciously decided to stop and just use the time between calls to remain aware and engage more in conversation with my co-workers I’d feel so much more focussed and less drained by the end of a work day. But I had to persist with that for a while for the temptation to randomly browse news sites etc online to lose strength.

    • You’re right Deano, when letting attention and focus slip that ability to conserve energy seems to weaken.

  • Thanks Roy. Work can be such a great training ground, and I really relate to what you say about using the way the inner and outer world interpenetrate to help bring about order in both cases. Learning to remain in awareness even when difficult or very personal topics are being discussed is one of the hardest, but most rewarding aspects of inner change. Belsebuub’s work has helped me immensly, but I can’t say I’m there yet either … my family seem to know all my weak spots!

  • What great experiences and inner learning in those workplace situations, Roy. They clearly illustrate the practical nature of the inner work.

    Some of that reminds me of my experiences working in a call centre. It was one of my favourite jobs, actually, and I learned a lot through interacting with people on the phone and my colleagues in the workplace.

  • That last instance you describe is so wonderful!
    Makes keeping going until we break through so worth it.

    I have also found creating more order in my life to be so liberating and beneficial. Tidiness, punctuality, taking care of administrative stuff promptly etc. (although I’ve still got plenty to improve on as well. 😉 )

    The way you describe your approach to your job with that genuine interest in observing and finding out what’s going on inside inspires me to practice it more deeply as well.

    Thanks for sharing and all the best!

    • Hi Karim, yes, the workplace is an interesting one as I found it can often be seen as an obstacle to spiritual growth, while when used properly it becomes a great source of learning, which was the case for me at this job.

About Belsebuub

Prior to withdrawing from public life in 2010, author Belsebuub had written several books and many articles on the topic of self-discovery. Read more

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