Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Oriental Beauty Tea, unfurling in its own sweet time

I'm struggling with control right now.  Well, that I don't have it.  And this is messing up my JOY big time.  Well, I'm allowing it to.  Uugh.  I'm 15 work days before sabbatical and it feels like things in the office are falling apart, and I can't control them.  OH - how I want control!  I want to leave with everything tied up in a perfect bow, coordinating wrapping paper, and everyone thinking how nice and smart I am.

Not being in control is SO hard for me.  I get very squirmy.  My coping mechanisms are either to barge in, steam roll over people, and just do it MYSELF or to bail and run far,far away.  I can't do either of those here.  I have to just live through it.  I'm going for hour by hour, sometimes breath by breath.

Like the leaves of this oriental beauty tea, I can't hurry its unfurling.  I have to breathe, and find the joy in watching life unfurl.


{ T G L } said...

Beautiful photo of the tea!

I'm as solidly rooted in the Abrahamic/monotheist faith traditions as they come, but I learnt one very wise lesson from Taoism. (Trust me, I am too wordy for any of the contemplative Eastern traditions! :))

Taoism talks about the concept of 'wu wei', which roughly can be described as 'going with the flow'. You learn to 'let go', especially things you cannot control. You cannot control what others do at the office, so better to try and disconnect from it. Does that make sense? I hope this helps. If not, do a search on wu wei. I am sure others explain it far more eloquently but the practice helped me disengage from life's small annoyances that I had no control over anyway! :)

This Good Life

{ T G L } said...

By the way, you're inspiring me to write about this topic. Mind if I link you on my blog?

massagematters said...

Hang in there! Will you leave for sabattical looking smart and organized no matter what happens between now and then because that is who you are. Love you!

Steph said...

Thank you!

Marlena said...

Oh Steph, me too. Ain't it awfuL/

Alex Zorach said...

I also struggle with this sort of control issue, not just in workplaces. I think it's an almost universal human problem that nearly everyone struggles with in some aspect of their life or another.

One thing that I find helpful is to write. Often, when I'm stressing out because I feel out of control, it's because, on some level, I believe that I am responsible for something that I see going wrong.

When I write down in a journal exactly what I am responsible for, and what I'm not responsible for, then I can feel better even when everything seems to be spiraling out of control. I can focus on what things are my responsibility, do the best I can, and then leave things as-is.

Things will always go wrong in life, and it will often be due to other people's actions and decisions. What I see as my responsibility in a workplace is (a) to do my own work, and (b) to be respectful to others, even when they are not carrying their own responsibilities very well. That's more, no less!

Try to focus on these things, and drop the rest! I don't know how useful this will be to you, but when I remember these things and practice them, I find it very liberating!

Karen said...

A great lesson in a cup of tea... Beautiful photo, Steph!

Steph said...

Thank you all so much for your helpful suggestions!

{ T G L } said...

Hi Stehp!

Back again :) Just letting you know I wrote a mini-review of a number of blogs I like on my blog and it includes yours. I hope it generates you a little more traffic and interest.
You can find the post here:

This Good Life

Marilyn said...

Good luck with the last 15 days. It will all come together in the last minutes and then you will just have to walk away. Very stressful! The need for much relaxation with tea it there in that cup. Take care.

VeeTea said...

Oh, honey! I'll be thinking of you. And I'm sure you will have an AMAZING trip!!!

In the meantime, I thought this might help you smile: (It was written by my mom.)