Whether it’s allowing another driver to “cut in” in traffic or the person with just five items to do the same in a grocery store line, it seems little acts of kindness are getting harder to find as our hurry-up-and-wait lives get even more rushed. You know how it feels when someone cuts you off or barges in – we feel annoyed at best and outraged at worst.
Here are some tips for dealing with the daily indignities we all encounter:
- Remember it’s not personal. No one is singling us out with the intention of taking advantage of us. We’re all busy and self-centered about making it through our day.
- If someone does slight you, and it triggers a strong emotion, try and imagine what’s in their head at that moment. I recently held a door open for a customer in a restaurant nearby and she didn’t say thank you or even acknowledge me. My immediate reaction was “how ungrateful!”. I took a breath and considered that she may have just left our center and been told her child had autism or left her doctor’s office where she was told she had cancer.
- If your immediate reaction is to respond in a less-than-kind way, try a mental “halt!” and do the opposite. Say or do something kind. Pay attention to the reaction you then get.
Quote of the Week:
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Expectations & Possibilities
Phillip Moffitt, in a year of Living Mindfully tells us that “the (mostly unconscious) expectations that fill our mind direct what we pay attention to and how we interpret things, preventing us from living from our intentions”. Expectations can lead to disappointment, defeat, and a heavy burden to carry around. Where do these come from? All over! We’re bombarded by messages that tell us to be this or do that and much is focused on achievement in some way. Read full post »
Critical Thoughts and Self-compassion
Insecurity often underlies critical thoughts and in our achievement-oriented world, it’s easy to feel as if we don’t measure up. If a core belief at the heart of critical thoughts is that we are “not good enough”, it could be that we’re using an unrealistic measure of our worth. If in our mind’s eye, we associate perfection with what we “should be” then we set ourselves up for disappointment. It’s fine to have goals and ambitions but we shouldn’t make self-acceptance dependent on them. Read full post »
Think Before You . . . Speak, Text, Email, Tweet
Seems today the old saying “think before you speak” needs updating to include reply all, text, tweet, etc. It’s so easy to fire off words without giving them much forethought. Another old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it” also seems to have gone by the wayside (which I think is an idiom).
We now have the ability to deliver lightning-fast replies and feel a sense of accomplishment when we get those pesky emails and texts out of the way. Do you ever go back and read what you’ve sent? Ever catch a typo (thanks, autocorrect) or realize that your quick words might not have captured what you intended to say or might be confusing. Ever get a reply text that only says, “?” meaning, “I have no idea what you’re talking about”.
With in-person conversations, do you ever feel a need to fill a pause rather than let the silence be? May be that at times, working in a service profession as we do, we feel uncomfortable with the quiet, Read full post »
Self Limiting Thoughts…
These are those pesky thoughts that tell us what we can’t do, how we don’t measure up, what’s wrong with us. If we could purge our brains of these thoughts, we’d all feel so much better. Short of that, we can practice self-compassion and accept that we’re all perfectly imperfect . . . or imperfectly perfect. Take your pick!
- Make a list of your top three self-limiting beliefs/recurring thoughts. For example:” I’ll never
be . . .” or “I can’t ever . . .”, “I’m such a . . .”
- Pay attention to them as they arise during the week.
- Try and identify the emotion associated with each. For example, anger, sadness, guilt, shame
- Get in touch with where you feel it in your body. Head? Stomach? Heart?
- Ask yourself what you need right then, right there
- Place your hand on this part of your body and wish yourself whatever you need. For example forgiveness, peace, acceptance, love, kindness.
Quote of the week
“I never beat myself up gently.”