18 June 2013

201: Turning On and Off the Work Character

The other day at work, I took a moment in between shifts - meaning, I was working a 'double shift' where I was working both the morning and afternoon/evening shifts at my work, which can be quite a long day for my physical body considering the nature of my job being physically demanding. Anyways, about the time the morning shift was ending and the afternoon/evening shift was beginning, I stepped outside and took a short break.

While I was enjoying the ability to sit down and be in the sun, I found myself experiencing myself 'very fast.' Where it's like I was constantly looking around me, and I was fidgeting and I was experiencing this 'rushing' feeling within me where the only way to explain this would be to say I was not slowing down.

What I saw in that moment was carrying the 'experience' of my job/work with me into that moment as 'my break.' I work in a restaurant and the environment in general is 'fast paced' where there is like literally no time to think about anything - you must just being 'going, going, going', doing what you need to do for your guests and with managing multiple tables, it can get quite crazy. It is cool support in terms of there is no room for me to be in my head, I must be 'completely here' and focused on what I am doing and what I need to be doing in order for my shift to run effectively and ensure I am providing the service the guests are paying for - obviously one mistake can cause a ripple effect/consequences on all the other tables/guests I am taking care of and so here prevention is also the best cure - to ensure the shift run as smoothly as possible.

But as I was saying, the environment is very go, go go - rush, rush, rush, - move, move, move. Again this is cool in terms of the nature of my job because my ability to get paid/support myself financially is determined by the guests, and so the busier it is, the more people are coming in and the more opportunity I have to make money. However, in that type of environment, I have found it is very difficult to 'slow down' and be aware of myself breathing. Like generally during the shifts, when it is most busy, I am not aware of my breathing. It's only at the beginning of my shift or as I am walking out to my car at the end of the shift do I remember - oh yes, breeeeeeeathe.

So what I found in that moment of 'taking a break' the last time I worked, is while I was sitting there - not doing anything, just sitting there and taking a moment for myself in the sun, this experience of how the work environment runs was still 'with me'. It's like who I am at work; constantly considering what I must be doing, what needs to be done, who needs what, etc was still active in me. Like I could not slow down and this 'fastness' as my experience was coming out physically, in moving my head in all sorts of directions, looking at people, looking in one direction and then the next. Crossing my legs, then uncrossing my legs. Adjusting myself in my seat. It was like I could not STOP and just breathe and let go of this fastness that is my work environment.

So this was interesting to see, how in that moment it was like I was carrying with me the work character I must embody to ensure a successful shift - where I see it's necessary for me to go into 'that role' in order to make the money I require in order to support me in my life, but as I was sitting outside, all I showed myself in still displaying that 'fastness character' was that I was not directing the 'on/off' switch - if that makes sense. There was no reason or purpose for that fastness experience while I was sitting outside. That was my moment to take a moment - as in take a breath and bring myself back to myself in SLOWING DOWN this speediness I must assume at my job. When I saw this, I went to breathe and found it was quite difficult at first, like I could not take a deep breath into my belly, but they were shallow and in my chest only. So had to take a few of these at least before I was experiencing my actual breathing as the whole being of body.

Alright, I will go into some self forgiveness in the post to follow.

Featured Artwork By: Marlen Vargas Del Razo

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