It's been a week of little disappointments for me. One after another they just kept coming. At first it was easy to roll with the punches, nothing was earth shattering, but after a while it started to wear on me, and I could feel my positive attitude slipping away.
Many of these situations were ordinary annoyances: traffic, schedule changes, missing friends, long lines, a parking ticket. The real kicker was a very expensive car repair bill. I made a dumb decision to bring a bucket of change to the bank for counting and deposit. When I hit the brakes hard to avoid a turkey in the middle of the road, the bucket tipped over spilling coins into the heating vent and ultimately the undercarriage of the car. Two days in the shop and five hundred dollars later, the car was restored to its change-free existence.
During this aggravating week, I practiced taking deep breaths through each situation, reminded myself not to take any of this personally, and to wait until I could respond rather than react to a disappointment. I would love to say I was able to do all those things without flaw, but that’s not the case. One day I was stuck in traffic so long I started screaming at a red light to hurry up and change already, and I couldn’t help but start laughing at myself.
After disappointment number 237, it was time to make some sense of what was truly going on and grab the learning from these experiences. One of the ways I know how do that is to sit still, meditate and see what emerges. During my meditation, I realized I need to slow down. I have been going a mile a minute, squeezing in tasks, errands, emails, and phone calls, wherever possible always thinking about what’s going to happen next. Which means I am not being very present in the current moment leaving me irritable, annoyed and less able to cope with daily stresses.
All of these little disappointments led me to the see the bigger picture. Life is busy and full of responsibilities calling for our attention. Staying present makes it easier to take on each challenge as it pops up, and see it clearly for what it is. It’s not a personal attack, it doesn’t mean I did anything wrong, its simply a disappointment and it doesn’t define me. By giving my full attention to what’s right in front of me, I can enjoy each experience, find peace, and stay open to happiness.
Have a beautiful week!