Last week was Australia Day. For all non Aussies, this probably means nothing at all, but quite simply it commemorates the arrival back in 1788 of the first fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain to our shores and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by Commander Arthur Phillip.More than a day off work, we celebrate what it means to be Australian. This means barbecues, outdoor events and Aussie stuff- different things to different people. For this Aussie, with a daughter due to start High School the following Day, Australia Day meant a relaxing afternoon spent between the backyard pool, the cricket and Aussie Simon Baker in Series 1 of The Mentalist.During one episode yummy Patrick Jane says to new recruit Grace Van Pelt: ‘We don’t discuss our personal lives in this unit- it’s not useful and it’s not professional.’ I don’t know the astrology of Simon Baker’s character, but to me that sounds awfully Aquarian- the very premise of the show is about Air types of things. It does raise the question though- should we bring our personal lives into the office?I have a great deal of difficulty separating my personal life from my professional one- and it has caused me trouble from time to time. I have difficulty in hiding my emotions and whilst I have learned to fake it the mask does slip from time to time with those I have stupidly attached myself to. I have learned over the years when to make an exit from a situation and fortunately have both a Fire Escape and railway handy where no one can hear me scream. With Ascendant, Sun, Moon & Mercury in Pisces and a mighty 75% of my planets in water signs (and nothing at all in Air signs) I am thinner skinned than most and have limited ability to rationalise or separate a business decision from the personal. To get around this, I try and focus on the needs of others and What Has To Be Done and push what I want to the back of my head and am continually surprised and hurt when others don’t magically pick up on what I need.When I was employed by The Bank this was not really a problem as I tended to move up and around relatively quickly- staying in no single department or branch for longer than 18 months. This didn’t give me time to become emotionally involved with anybody or anything- enabling me to be strictly business.How are you at separating the two? These days we can spend up to 75% of our lives with our work colleagues. If you have a job that involves travel, that often means you are also spending a fair proportion of what would normally be your downtime with colleagues. Is it right that we take only our Ascendant, our mask to work and leave our emotional selves at home? I guess the answer depends on a number of variables- the type of work you do, the type of workplace you do it in and the type of people you do it with.We all feel and bleed and cry and think, but the extent to which we do that and the extent to which that motivates us, depends a lot of the balance of elements in our chart. Having an abundance of the element of Air in your chart allows you to logically detach sufficiently to leave your personal issues at home. If your chart is more heavily weighted towards the element of Earth you will be able to focus on goals sufficiently to leave your personal issues at home. With a lot of Fire you can often distract yourself with activity. But with Water?When you have heaps of water in your chart you are motivated by emotions and as we are told that feelings have no place in the office that leaves you pretty well... exposed to potential trouble. But us water babes do have some use in the office- with a chart weighted on the watery side, you are sensitive and empathetic and able to tune into feelings and non verbal communication.I agree with Patrick Jane, to an extent- full disclosure does not belong in the office- there are situations where too much information is, well, too much information. The fact remains that we are hired as much for what we can bring to a team on a personal level as what we know- we don’t check our personalities at the door. Thankfully most of us have a reasonable blend of energy from all elements in our charts, allowing us to focus where required, detach when necessary, take the appropriate actions and have empathy and sensitivity for those that we work with. Balance is a truly beautiful concept... does anyone have any Air planets they would like to lend me?
Sherene Schostak is a Jungian psychotherapist, author and metaphysician who specializes in helping creative artists transform their addictions and blocks. She has been in private practice in New York City for the past 13 years consulting, writing and... read more