close up Da Vinci self portrait

“Experience teaches that nature among mortals cannot operate in any other way than that in which reason teaches it to work.” ~Leonard Da Vinci


I have been reflecting on the concept of Mastery lately. I realized that I had an underlying mindset, unconscious until I was reflecting, that I think has its roots in the distant past, when one could actually master all the knowledge that was available about any given subject. This was perhaps even less than 100 years ago.

Of course now, with the global technological ever-expanding access we have on pretty much any subject, along with the ever-expanding knowledge being gained on any subject, this type of mastery is impossible. Mastery now would be a possibility to live into for any given subject, but most likely not a finite venture.

So given my underlying “historical” mindset, “mastery” of anything seemed impossible.

I then wondered: Is there any subject or any place in my life where I feel I have accomplished any level of mastery? The one area that kept recurring to my thoughts was in the consulting work I do. I definitely feel a level of mastery in a couple of the professional areas I have trained and developed myself in over several decades. One area of mastery I have developed has to do with an ability to stay focused and grounded with others, often in a group, in spite of any reactivity and/or emotionalism on their part. Even if I get triggered in some way, I can count on myself to manage my reactions in the moment and deal with myself later.

So, I thought, well, if I can stay grounded in the face of my and other’s emotional reactions in a professional setting, why do I not always stay grounded in the face of my own and other’s reactions in my personal life, and with my significant others?! If I can do this professionally, I have the capacity to do it. So, why do I not do that?!

Good question, eh?

And then it struck me.

I am clearly committed to a larger purpose when working with others professionally. I am clear that I am committed to being a contribution to them, such that they are free from many of their own constraints from the past. It is not about me. I am committed to being of service, so I am able to interact impersonally and thus access my own innate wisdom in any given circumstance.

What I then saw was, in my personal life, I get sloppy. I am not willing to sustain a commitment to myself to stay grounded in spite of external circumstances. I allow myself to – through habit and consequent engrained brain patterns – forget my own personal commitment to be free from the past and profoundly present. I consciously choose that for others, but in the world of how I “should” be treated, how people “should” act towards me, I am of course disappointed in what others say and do “to” me, and take it personally. This then allows me to experience being that most delicious and seductive of human experiences: The Victim!

Tune in to the July blog to hear the rest of this exploration of the rewards and pay-offs of being The Victim … as well of course as the price! … With some helpful thoughts on how to extricate ourselves – if we so choose!

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About The Author

Laura Basha's picture

Dr. Laura Basha is an organizational psychologist, writer, and artist. 

She is the Founder and Creator of WhiteBird Rising, a resource and guide for the transformational lifestyle. For over 35 years she worked with thousands of international clientele, using a principle-based paradigm of well-being, catalyzing an awakening in people to their authentic self-expression, creativity, and power. Her latest book, All Is Chosen, a beautiful handmade art piece, is a compilation of her life’s work, and can be viewed along with her other writings, videos, and artwork, at

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