Oh, Those Karma Moments

by Annie Kaszina on October 7, 2005

Have you ever had one of those ‘karma moments’ when
something from your past comes back at you like a little silver bullet you know
you have to bite on? I’m not talking
cataclysmic moments, just those that make you smile a wry smile and say: “Yep,
I had that one coming.”

In the last little while I’ve had a couple. The first was when I was invited to the
wedding of an ex-pupil from my teaching days. I went alone and the only two people (apart from the bride) that I knew
in the whole place were two women who I’d taught French 20 years before.

They’d been a Bolshie pair of 14 year olds who glowered at
me from the back of the class; I’d been irritable, intolerant and sarcastic, an
A1 toad. The time had come, I decided,
to eat humble pie with the best grace I could muster. One of the women was probably more gracious to me than my past
performance merited; the other’s memory of that earlier me was, I fear, still
fresh and green.

Then there was the workshop I held last Saturday. It got off to a good start, we were taxiing,
if not yet flying, when a latecomer arrived. Because of the constraints of space, one woman kindly set out a seat for
her by my side, quite literally at my elbow.

The theme of the workshop was people-pleasing and being
caught in the ‘nice’ trap. My audience were, largely, women who had been through abusive relationships.  My goal was to distil  something of the information about abuse recovery and  building strong self-worth that I focus on at www.joyfulcoaching.com

Low self-worth results in people, women especially,
feeling they have to ‘do’ nice in order to receive any consideration, because
they can’t believe they can possibly be nice. We talked about the distinction and how the more you step into owning
your own fundamental niceness, the more other people will come to recognise
it. The voice at my elbow kicked in:
“It doesn’t work.”

We touched briefly on the principle of the Deliberate
Small Act of Unkindness – a sort of antidote for the Terminally Nice to the
Random Act of Kindness.

The idea is that you make a point of saying “No” about
something small and insignificant to someone who would naturally assume you’ll
say “yes”, as ever, in the knowledge that it will mildly inconvenience
them. (Naturally, you only do this in a
situation in which it is safe for you to do so.)

The rationale is that just getting your head around not
always meeting other people’s demands in this small way is enough to create
a shift in your mind-set. The voice at
my elbow stated dourly: “It doesn’t work. I’ve tried it.”

And so it went on. Karma. It was as if I had my old
negative self, sitting right beside me. The only difference was that I would have been so negative I wouldn’t
even have bothered to open my mouth to speak.

In fact, using the platform that chance had so kindly
offered her, and articulating her negativity enabled her to finally see its
limits. She knew all the theory, she’d
done it all; and none of it worked. Yep, if anyone had ever had that one coming, I surely had.

And then she offered me and everyone else there a
gift. She said: “I’ve done all of that
and it never worked. You know, I
never believed it would
.” The
proverbial English penny dropped for her. Her circumstances were, undeniably, very difficult. Now she saw why her attempts to move herself
on changed nothing at all.

T Harv Eker, forthright author of “The Millionaire Mind”
put it far better than I ever could. He
says:

“At the beginning of my live seminars, I introduce people
to what I call “the three most dangerous words in the English language.” Those words are “I know that”. So how do you know if you know
something? Simple. If you live it, you know it. Otherwise, you heard about it, you read
about it, or you talk about it, but you don’t know it.”

What do you know about? And what have you been assuming you know, that ‘just ain’t
so’?

I’m
beginning to think I know a little about (low-level) Karma; and that the more I
let go of what I think I know the more valuable things I learn.

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