Inspiration – Working Together

work together

Photo by Zun Zun on Pexels.com

“Begin each morning by saying to yourself:
Today I will meet people who are nosy, ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, and unsocial.
They can’t help it—they are ignorant of the difference between good and bad.
But I, who know the difference, also know that I share the same human nature with them.
I can’t be angry with my fellow humans.
We were made to work together, like pairs of hands, feet, eyelids, or rows of teeth.
To hate each other is against the laws of nature.
No one can hurt me but myself, for no one else can make me forsake the good and embrace the bad”.*

~ Marcus Aurelius

May we all come to see this wisdom and work together.

Namaste

 

*Aurelius, Marcus. The Meditations: An Emperor’s Guide to Mastery (Stoic Philosophy Book 2) (p. 11). Ancient Renewal. Kindle Edition.

What Makes Someone “Difficult”?

highly sensitive person

source: Pinterest

“What makes someone difficult?   Essentially, it’s their energy. We don’t have to be students of quantum field theory or Buddhist metaphysics to sense how much the energies around us affect our moods and feelings.  What makes someone tough for you to take? Basically, it has to do with how your energies interact with theirs.

Every one of us is at our core an energetic bundle. What we call our personality is actually made up of many layers of energy — soft, tender, vulnerable energies as well as powerful, controlling or prickly energies. We have our wild and gnarly energies, our kindly energies, our free energies and our constricted, contracted ones.

These energies, expressing themselves through our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and minds, manifest as our specific personality signature at any given moment. What we see on the surface, in someone’s body language and facial expressions, is the sum of the energies that are operating in them. As we speak, its the energy behind our words that most deeply impacts others.

The beginning of change, then, is learning how to recognize and modulate our own energy patterns. The more awareness we have — that is, the more we are able to stand aside and witness our personal energies of thought and feeling and (rather than identifying with them) the easier it is to work with our own energies. This takes practice. Most people don’t start out with a highly developed awareness of their own energy or the way it impacts others — and even fewer of us know how to change the way our energies work together.”

~ Sally Kempton

This except from an article by Sally Kempton at Awkin.org caught my attention. There is wisdom here, and an opportunity to expand our insight into our energies and how they impact us and those around us.

Its easy to sense a “difficult” person, but do you have insight into how we may be “difficult” too? 

And when you realize your energy is impacting others negatively, are you able to modulate your own energy patterns?

I pondered these questions for myself, and came up with a resounding “I’m not sure”.

There is an old saying “It takes one to know one”. We see in others what we like and what we don’t like in ourselves. That difficult person’s energy is connecting with the same energy within ourselves.

Negative interactions become an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, and also to modify our own energy patterns.

Modifying our energy patterns is something that most of us have already experienced as we go through life.

Think of when you are feeling stressed out. What is the best way for you to let it go and feel better? It can be going for a run or a walk in nature, rolling out your yoga mat, reading a book, painting, playing an instrument, journaling, blogging or simply opening the Reader on WordPress.

These practices help the negative energy transform into something positive, so that it moves through you.

Awareness is the first step. Noticing how we are reacting to someone else’s energy, and how it is sparking the same energy within us.
Rather than reacting to what’s “wrong” with them, step back and consider what they may have touched within you. This can give you valuable insight into how you may be also be difficult to others.

 

 

Compassion and Connection – Just like me

just like me

When you find yourself judging, blaming, criticizing, resenting, or being frustrated and annoyed with an other person … here are some phrases to bring to mind.

“This person in front of me has a body and a mind… Just like me.
This person in front of me has feelings, emotions and thoughts… Just like me.
This person in front of me has in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be free from pain and suffering… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be healthy and loved… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be happy… Just like me.”*

All people have similar needs, wants and desires. Fundamentally we act in order to protect ourselves and what we believe matters to us.
We all wish to be happy.
Others may go about it differently, to what we would want for ourselves.

Yet who are we to judge…. Our thoughts tell us that our way is the right way, but that is the small ego mind trying to stay in charge.

When we remind ourselves, that other people are just like us, we can pause and come from understanding instead of a righteous ego.

May we all find more acceptance and understanding in challenging times with difficult people.

Namaste

 

* Taken from Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

* Inspiration – People are our Teachers

 

people are our teaachers

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”    ~ Pema Chodron

I was with a group of caring yoga teachers yesterday, and we shared experiences of who showed up in our classes. There was one student who always gave an unsolicited evaluation of how the class went and what the teacher could do differently. An other student would send long emails about a substitute teacher, pointing out where she was not as good as the original one. An other student made comments in class about how uncomfortable she was.

Then there were the students who were grateful for the teacher’s guidance and came back class after class.

I awoke this morning with this thought. People show up for different reasons, yet they are all our teachers.

Should we dismiss the challenging ones as external disturbances, taking us off balance? Or perhaps, as people who have things going on that they need to address?

There’s an opportunity for deeper understanding here.

We attract the people who reflect our selves.

The wonderful thankful students, are reflecting the parts of ourselves that we appreciate and accept.

The people who disturb us, are reflecting the parts of ourselves that we have not fully accepted or integrated within ourselves. The parts of ourselves that we haven’t learn to love.

If we look as every person as a reflection of our selves and as our teachers, it becomes an opportunity to learn and grow.

Every person is bringing a gift for us to receive and to learn from.

If the same “gifts” keep showing up in your life, then there is something that is longing for your attention.

open heart flower

Take a moment to pause and breathe deeply

Allow the breath to become fuller

Imagine breathing into your heart

Allow this area to soften

Let your heart open and be ready to receive

To the teacher whose student wants to be in control of the class … What is the heartfelt lesson for you?

To the teacher with a student who criticizes and complains about not having things their own way… What could be the heartfelt lesson for you?

To all of us who have a spouse… colleague… child… neighbor… relative… showing up as “gifts” to learn from …  What are the heartfelt lessons for us all?

Remember, its often what we don’t like, that we grow from the most. The practice is to keep our minds and our hearts open.

Namaste

 

* We Can’t Change Another Person But We Can …

Its one of the hardest lessons in the highs and lows of life. Accepting that others really are different and we can’t change them … no matter how much we want it!

mother daughter conflict

We can never make an other person change, no matter how hard we try. We can make requests. We can show them how we want them to be. We can manipulate them or even resort to nagging and bullying … but in the end it will always be up to them.  They have to be willing to change themselves.

As adult human beings we only have the ability to change ourselves.

We do have options however! That is what this post is about. You can apply this checklist at work, at home and in any situation where you are having difficulty with an other person.

Here are the 5 options I share with my clients and would now like to share with you.

Before you jump ahead, take a moment to think about a recent difficult interaction and how you wished that person would change in some way.

pause

Now consider these 5 approaches.

1. Can you make a request of them? Can you share with them the impact of their behavior and how you feel, then request a different behavior?

2. Can you change your own actions? How might you have contributed to this situation? What can you do differently?

3. Can you change your thinking and re-frame by seeing things from different perspectives? From their perspective? And as an observer?

4. Can you open our heart and find empathy for the other person as an imperfect human being? … just like you! Can you accept them for who they are, faults and all? This is the spiritual path of acceptance and compassion.

5. The final option is the remove yourself from their company. Step away and regroup. You can review these options and if it keeps coming to option 5, then consider making a break from this person.

So next time when you realize you are expecting someone else to change, instead of going over the same old frustrating negative thoughts and habitual responses, try a new mindful approach.

And keep practicing …

I certainly still am!

Hugs,

Val