The past few days have been all about settling back in around here, and adjusting back into life in one place after a few weeks of eventful travel. The transition continues to present loads of moments for mindfulness, though, which was our topic for this week’s earlier post. Because travel requires planning, it also brings along expectations, which as we know, are the root of all suffering. OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but when you get caught up in them, they really can kill a buzz pretty fast.
For your “no-fail” mindfulness challenge this weekend, you’re going to pay attention, and maybe occasionally, call yourself out.
Hopefully, you keep your mindfulness groove going, so at some point each day, you set aside a few for whatever it is you do. A little focused stillness, maybe with a meditation app, or some yoga, a mindful walk – you do you. But as you go through the weekend, this challenge will be a lot easier if your mind is “right,” shall we say.
At some point in the flow of your weekend, you’re probably going to be either disappointed or irritated by something not going as expected. Might be something big that you’ve been waiting for ages to come through, or it just might be the glacial pace of the line at Starbucks. Somehow, somewhere, the frustration will find you. You might normally not even notice it, but this weekend, you will, because you’re being mindful, and paying attention.
Now, you know that getting annoyed isn’t the issue, right? We can’t control the emotions that arise in us, but we can notice them for what they are, and make choices about how to respond. Like anything that happens in life, it’s never about the thing itself. It is entirely about what we do with it.
When the irritation rises, and you’re about to mumble under your breath just loud enough for a certain someone to hear, or plenty loud enough for them to hear, or you’re poised to walk away from something with a one-finger salute as your goodbye wave, do one thing first. Take a breath. Just one. More if you want, but one is a great start. Make it a good one, and then when you’re finished, decide. Make your next move intentional, so at least if it is a moment of speaking your whole mind out loud, it’s one you’re still proud of tomorrow.
For what it’s worth, you might also want to think about the other side of the unexpected. Pleasant surprises, happy accidents, and downright miraculous “coincidences” can catch you off-guard, but only if you’re paying attention…and of course, not too annoyed to notice. ;-)
Photo credit: Simon Robben