Ask Alan

Jean senses something's up. But is it just a string of bad coincidences? Or has a past life left her owing a karmic debt?

May 2005


Hey Alan, I sure hope you can help me. I've had some pretty weird stuff happen lately and it's got me thinking. Like I applied for a new bank account and I've been asked to submit all this extra documentation that I know for a fact isn't asked of other applicants. Then there was a recent mix-up with my landlord over a rent payment. Most recently, I had two different cards refused by two different stores, even though there's nothing wrong with them. Is this coincidence or something else afoot? Like karma from a past life or something?

Let me know what you think!



Dear Jean,

The first thing that I have to say is that it's interesting you link your question about karma or karmic incidents with a bank account. I say this because I often liken karma to a bank account – but perhaps I get ahead of myself.

Most of us know the basics about karma. In its simplest form, it's the notion that what goes around comes around. Put slightly differently, it says that we'll reap what we sow. It's the ultimate doctrine of cause and effect. And because it's the sum of our deeds I think of it as analogous to a bank account. We pay in with the good that we do and we make withdrawals by doing what we might not be so proud of.

This so-called karmic account follows our soul from one lifetime to another. So if we've been a saint in a previous incarnation, we'll find ourselves in the black. But if we've been bad, then we could already find ourselves significantly overdrawn.

Immediately I feel that you're spot on to link what's happening with karma connection. And yet, I'm getting that it's linked to this life. It has to do with your here and now. So forget about blaming a past life. I'm afraid you're responsible this time round for what's going on.

I'm being shown a change of job about six months to a year ago. It was a promotion with increased responsibility. In this new role, I have people coming to you for guidance and answers. It's like I have you heading a team.

And while I sense that you were professionally ready for this step up, on a personal level you were and remain quite dubious. I'm not exactly sure what you do but I can say that it feels fast-paced and I've got deadlines being set and then moving – forward. I also want to say that it's not a warm and cuddly sort of environment. On the contrary, it feels cut-throat and what you might call a dog-eat-dog atmosphere.

I want to say as well that's it one you're familiar with. I have you coming up through the ranks. You've worked your way up the ladder. And finally you've reached the top. Now you call the shots.

If I can be blunt, I'll say that it's not really working – on more than one level. For you, you continue to second-guess yourself, which causes a sense of on-the-job paralysis. And I keep seeing a team that come to you looking for answers and coming away confused and frustrated. I've the impression that they don't know what you want and they are about to stop trying. If you're not careful, you're going to have what I'd call a mutiny.

So why is all this affecting your karma? Well, it's quite simple. It has to do with the fact that you do know what needs to be done. Yet you are so scared of making a mistake that you're doing nothing. And by doing nothing you're not doing right by your team. In karmic terms, it's like you're on a spending spree.

Because you're insecure and don't have the confidence that you need for the decisions that need to be taken, I've got you being short and actually quite hostile with your team and peers.

So the bottom line? I'd expect more so-called bad coincidences until you straighten out your house at work. From what I see, you've two options. You can prove that you were ready for this position. Or you can quit and find something else to do. It might sound like tough love, but I sense you can take it. It might not be what you want to hear but it's what you need to hear.

Your karma overdraft will be repaid as soon as you take responsibility for your actions – or rather inaction.

It's not about trying to please everyone. No matter what you do, there will be some who disapprove. But you have to be able to live with your decisions. And right now, I feel it's safe to say that you cannot.

Change your ways and you'll be surprised at how quickly you feel the benefit.

I wish you all the best!


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