Employed In The Realm Of The Senses

Want the secret of career or vocational enlightenment in just one word?


And in two words?

Awareness. Awareness.

How about a whole three words?




Get the picture?

Feel the vibe?

Hear the music?

Since we’re equipped with sensory perception it kinda makes sense to twiddle the dials now and again; you never know what you might tune into.

For instance, when I said sayonara to permanent employee life last year and stepped off the IT outsourcing bandwagon, I got to experience a whole new set of sensations while working from home.

Let’s just focus on ;sound sensations in this post.

Well, here are some of the highlights my ears were treated to:

  • catchy little 10 second jingles played endlessly by the paraffin oil truck as it slowly crawled round the streets of our neighborhood between 4 and 6 pm in the afternoon.

  • occasional birdsong in the back garden.

  • mechanical diggers chewing up the building site outside (but only until 2010.)

  • large trucks waiting at the traffic light outside our apartment and continuously repeating a safety announcement in Japanese (hidari e magatte) which I take to mean turning left&. Sometimes that d$#n light doesn’t change for what seems like five minutes!! And the truck is stuck there until it does.

After a while I became immune to most of these sounds and barely noticed them; until I started doing a version of the Betty Erickson self-hypnosis exercis.

They then started to become more known and friendly to me as I associated working at home with almost ritualistic sound effects!

And now that I have reentered a corporate portal in the guise of a contractor, it was somewhat startling to be confronted with other sounds I had so long taken for granted:

  • Multiple computer keyboards clacking away within a 10 meter radius of my desk; what an unearthly racket!

  • Phones cutting to voice mail after 3 rings.

  • The unrelenting hum of the big brother air-conditioning in the ceiling.

  • Multiple conversations happening around me (today I was amazed to hear Japanese, English and Chinese being spoken on separate calls at the same time.)

Taking a few minutes to silently practice my version of the Betty Erickson self-hypnosis exercise in such an environment was surprisingly easy and relaxing.

In fact, it became a very welcome mental break from the brain crunching work of creating network configurations and diagrams.

You might even call it conscious daydreaming.

Now if you’re thinking that the point of this post is to remind you about the importance of relaxing in the workplace. Hmmm. Only partly true.

While relaxing in the moments is a cool skill to enable, the deeper magic comes from becoming selectively and non judgmentally aware of the sensory stimuli around you.

Because you can then start to program and experience sensations that you’ll perhaps meet in your new career simply by the power of suggestion from a relaxed state.

At least, that’s how I have been using this trance-formational ability and I’m just a layperson following a course of self study.

But here’s what’s really bizarre about the whole thing:

The present moments, as they pass me by one by one, seem less transient and fleeting.

Time, in some sense, seems to drag.
And awareness of any particular waking moment hears it putting on the garb of a particularly rich daydream.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

(PS: No jokes about wanting what I&‘m smoking! This is as free and legal as it gets. Five senses and counting.)