Today I was running late for a meeting, (that’s how I roll), jumped in an Uber, and somehow ended up being dropped off a 20 minute walk from where I needed to be.
I was immediately pissed off.
I hate being late even though I always am, and I felt time pressed today.
I have a lot to get done before I leave for Bali for 2 months on Weds (woohoo!) but my mind was NOT HAPPY about the walking/ 45 min late situation.
As I marched frustratedly down the beautiful autumny tree-lined streets of Albert Park, the sun beaming down on my cold face, I noticed that my mind did not give a damn about what my senses had to say.
“F-ing studio with their wrong address on Google Maps! Who doesn’t update their Google Maps address. I don’t have TIME for this! I’m in a rush! Now I’m half an hour late. I could have biked here faster. I could have biked here TWICE. F-ing studio and their f-ing wrong directions…”
And so it went on its abusive tirade at Google Maps.
Part of me knew that deep down, or maybe even quite close to the surface, I really didn’t care. It was a nice walk, and I’m actually feeling quite relaxed this week.
I smiled and brought my attention back to the autumn leaves.
But seconds later Nev was at it again,
this time mapping out the conversation I planned to have with the person I was so late to meet, explaining in great frustrated detail why I was late.
When I arrived, it was nothing like the unhelpful conversation I had had in my head.
This is what our mind does.
It loves to take minuscule mole hills and make them into pissed off mountains. It loves to feel indignant and hard done by and stressed.
The feeling of being carried away by the unnecessary drama in your mind is somewhat addictive. It feels good but also bad and it often feels like your only option. You know you’re being dramatic, but it takes a lot of resolve to let go.
There’s always a part of you that knows that the kerfuffle isn’t necessary. It knows there are bigger things in life, and it knows that you’re wasting your energy being pissed about something you can’t fix.
The part of you knows that no matter what happens, the easiest way to go through life is to drop your resistance to whatever “goes wrong”, solve what can be solved, leave what can be left, change what can be changed and accept everything else.
That part of you is what’s called the “observing self” in mindfulness and ACT, and in my opinion that self is “the real you”.
That self is the calm in the eye of the storm, it just watches and observes while your emotions and external circumstances swirl around you.
If you feel like you sometimes get caught up in the roller coaster emotions and external circumstances of your life, just remember that
you’re only ever a millisecond away from being in that calm observing self.
You can never control your emotions and you can never control your outside world. But you always have access to the self inside you who just watch with amusement and calm.
All it takes is for you to become aware of the part of you that is able to watch your mind and emotions.
When you learn mindfulness you train your ability to catch yourself when you’re really caught up.
It brings an amazing feeling of peace
to know that at any time, no matter what happens, you always have the ability to take your attention into the part of you that is calm, non judgemental, and basically just living a bloody good life, wholly fascinated by whatever drama is or isn’t playing out.
So badgers, you’re probably sick of hearing it from me, but learn mindfulness, whichever which way you can.
In my view, it’s the quickest and only long lasting route to a bloody good life.