Daily OM for June 19th – Beyond Reacting

Remembering to Pause

by Madisyn Taylor

 

Remembering to pause and take a breath before we react can shift the energy of the outcome.

 

We have all had the experience of reacting in a way that was less than ideal upon hearing bad news, or being unfairly criticized, or being told something we did not want to hear. This makes sense because when our emotions are triggered, they tend to take center stage, inhibiting our ability to pause before we speak. We may feel compelled to release the tension by expressing ourselves in some way, whether it’s yelling back at the person yelling at us, or rushing to deliver words of comfort to a friend in trouble. However, there is much to be said for teaching ourselves to remember to pause and take a deep breath before we respond to the shocks and insults that can come our way in life.

For one thing, our initial response is not always what’s best for us, or for the other people involved. Reacting to childish rage with childish rage will only escalate the negativity in a situation, further ensnaring us in an undesirable dynamic. Similarly, when we react defensively, or simply thoughtlessly, we often end up feeling regret over our words or actions. In the end, we save ourselves a lot of pain when we take a deep breath and really tune in to ourselves, and the other person, before we respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t say anything, although in some cases, that may be the best option.

Some situations require a fairly immediate response, but even just a moment of grounding ourselves before we do so can help enormously. The next time you find yourself wanting to react, try to pause, and in that pause, take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and listen for a response to arise within you, rather than just going with the first thing that pops into your head. You may find that in that moment, there is the potential to move beyond reaction and into the more subtle and creative realm of response, where something new can happen.

Daily OM 

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Inner smile meditation

Whenever you find yourself in a tough situation, this meditation will give you an instant boost of positive feeling. Imagine that you are looking at your face in a mirror. Watch yourself smile and your eyes light up with joy. Notice how beautiful you look when you smile and appreciate how positive smiling makes you feel. Breathe deeply, bringing that positive feeling to life within you in the present moment.

Meditation to Meet Your Earth Guide

Meditation to Meet Your Earth Guide

 

Set up a simple altar with a green or brown candle and herbal incense. You may wish to use a green altar cloth and your pentacle. Cast your personal circle. Take several slow, deep, cleansing breaths and relax your whole body. Close your eyes. Allow your breathing to show and become regular. Take deep, slow breaths. Visualize the gateway to earth. Make the gate as elaborate as you wish, using any material that you desire. To open, does it swing wide? Does it lift up? Does it dissolve? Keep focused on your breath, and allow the gate to open. Relax. Walk through the gateway and down the path. Take a moment to observe the world around you. The grass is a beautiful emerald green. There are flowering tees and shrubs everywhere you look. The nearby hillsides are covered with flowers and green healthy grass. As you walk, you notice a figure in the distance. Walk toward it. Stay focused on your breath. Standing in front of you is your guide for exploring the elemental realm of earth. It could be an animal, a human or a mythical creature. Greet your guide. Listen to what he has to say. When you have heard all you wish, thank him. Always respect your guide, as he will be with you a long time. Slowly walk back up the pathway to the gate. Focus on your breath. Walk through the gate and see it close. Allow yourself a few more deep breaths and then open your eyes. Write down what you learned in a journal for safekeeping. Close your circle.

Ten Tips On “How Not To Take Things To Heart”

Ten Tips On “How Not To Take Things To Heart”

Any interaction with another person, whether it is with your boss, a customer, your father or your friend has the opportunity to lead to hurt or irritation. Some people get hurt more easily than others. They can be particularly sensitive and take things to heart. Here are some tips to help you stop taking things personally so you can leave your interactions in a happier way.

Know why you are hurting
Know why you are hurting and respond accordingly. Are you hurting because of something that has happened in your history? Are you adding your history to the present moment and therefore adding fuel to something small and making it appear bigger? For example, if your mother has looked at you in a certain way since childhood and she’s looked at you in the same way today – do you react because of the way she looked today or the way she looked at you as a child? If it’s the latter, try reacting as if this was the first time you’d ever seen the look!

Laugh and make light of it
Laughter can be a wonderful cure and reliever. If you can keep light about a potential put-down then the put-down has no power. This doesn’t mean that you leave yourself open to abuse. What it does mean is that you can more easily brush off potentially hurtful comments

Tell someone else about what was said and turn it into a funny story.
Tell someone else what has happened and tell it in a way that makes it funny. Do a caricature – exaggerate what was said – think of a funny line back … build it up until it’s funny – this will help the hurt to dissipate.

Delay your response
Many people retaliate very quickly before they’ve even had time to think through what has been said. It’s a bit like someone throwing something at you. Would you just stand there and let it hurt you or would you duck? Delaying is like ducking. Pause before you respond. Then you give yourself time to think of a good response and to check that you’re not adding hurt to what was said.

Think of the other person as being “unskilled”
Think of the other person as being “unskilled” rather than being “intimidating”, “bossy” or “aggressive”. I’ll often say to myself, “Well that was an unskilled way of saying things, I wonder what she meant?” This helps me keep calm and non-reactive, yet still available to help the person.

Separate out what is specific to you
Sometimes people respond to a general complaint as if it is personally directed at them. Don’t do this. Work out what is specifically about you and what is a general complaint that you happen to get because you were in the same place as the other person? When it’s not specific to you, remind yourself of this, e.g. you might say to yourself, “This is about the company,” or “He has obviously got a bad headache.”

Monitor for sites of tension build up and let go before they develop
Each of us will have physiological changes which occur early on in the process of becoming hurt. If you can catch your stomach tightening, your neck tightening or your hands grasping, early on, you have more chance of letting go and not hooking into the other person’s comments or emotions. Someone in one of our workshops recently discovered she started clicking her nails as a sign that she was hooking in. What are your signs?

Keep breathing
Keep breathing in and out. No, I’m not joking! Some people hear something unpleasant and catch their breath and then don’t let go of it. You’re more likely to take something personally if you aren’t breathing!

Breathe deeply
Breathe deeply so your breathing remains calm, regular and deep. Even in a meeting it’s possible to put your hand on your midriff to give yourself a physical reminder to keep your breathing deep and regular. If your breathing speeds up and becomes shallow it could be a sign that you are getting hooked in.

Don’t read criticism into something that’s not intended as criticism
Don’t read in something that wasn’t there. It’s easy to try and “read between the lines” and imagine what someone meant or what they were implying and then to react as though your interpretation is true. It may not be. Someone, for example, may have crossed his arms to stop his shoulders aching not because he didn’t like what you said! Someone may be whispering to someone else as you walk in the room and you may assume they are talking about you. In fact they may be talking about their latest exploits with their new boyfriends.

By not getting hurt and looking after yourself, you increase your chances of staying healthy and having even more caring to give to others.

Copyright © 2009 by Rachel Green
— Submitted by Narayan Veeraraghavachar — India