In the midst of chaos and conflict, in the split second when your being is trying to decide whether to fight or flee, stop and breathe deeply. Be still and observe with all of your senses – look, listen and feel into what is happening as your body is feeding you important information so that you can take appropriate action. This all happens in mere seconds, especially in emergency situations. If you’ve ever experienced an emergency situation you may recall that right before you reacted it seemed as if everything stopped or was happening in slow motion, and the next thing you knew you were responding accordingly to help the situation. You may not remember much, only that it all happened really fast, you instantly and instinctively knew what to do, and you did it.
You can learn to master this process for non-emergency situations if you practice being still regularly. Taking a few minutes each day to practice meditation or mindfulness exercises will help you quiet your mind and listen with your entire being, not just your ears. Practice paying attention to how your body feels; consciously observe your surroundings without judgment or commentary; follow the path of your deep breaths in and out of your body; listen for any and all sounds around you and see how many you can distinctly identify. At first it may feel weird or uncomfortable and your mind will be racing with random thoughts, but as you make this a daily practice/habit you will start to calm yourself and enjoy the process. AND you will notice how you feel more centered and focused throughout the day; your mind will be clearer and you’ll be more decisive.
So next time a boss or co-worker makes a condescending comment or tells a blatant lie about you in your presence, you don’t have to force yourself to not retaliate, bite your lip until it’s almost bleeding to keep your big mouth shut and later berate yourself for not standing up to them and feeling like a big pile of dried up dog poop. Instead, you can stop, observe, and breathe deeply while the right response for you wells up from inside; then take appropriate action respectfully, feeling confident and peaceful. No more wanting to ‘slap them silly and stomp off the job’ for you my friends!
Mel’s Two Cents: Practice, practice, practice being still and then practice some more. Be still through the nose itching, body twitches and crazy thoughts – just keep bringing your attention to your breath until the resistance subsides. It’s ok if you fall asleep, try again later. Practice, practice, practice and let me know how it works out for you.
Until next time.
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