This week’s mindfulness echo’s last week’s post on “Look Within”. Too often, especially in the digital age, we let our happiness be determined by “likes”. We glare at photo-shopped images comparing our bodies to others, and we let other people’s opinions impact OUR attitude and mood for the day. All of these have one thing in common. They steal our happiness, our self-confidence, our self-worth, and our joy.
In the meditation from last week we are guided to not seek approval from outside sources, rather, look within yourself to find your happiness, what makes you unique, and THAT is what you should focus on. There are also those out in the world, fire starters, who thrive on getting a “reaction” out of you. These people are thieves of your joy. If left alone, they have no power, but they poke and poke waiting for the moment you break and reply/react. You have just given them power. Think for a moment about the last time something you read or heard got you all fired up. Now think of how you then acted towards other people thereafter. Were you kind and patient, or were you short and potentially rude?
The same rule applies in traffic, where we all tend to lose it from time to time. Nothing gets under our skin more than the person that cuts us off in traffic. This is where your mindfulness practice is put to the test. We think that this jerk cut us off on purpose, and maybe he/she did, but maybe they are rushing to help someone, get to the hospital, make it to an important meeting on time and they simply didn’t see you. Maybe they did see you and they feel bad for cutting you off but don’t have time, or know how to say sorry/thanks/oops in that spit second. Whatever the case may be, don’t let traffic or people in traffic steal your joy. Again, there are folks on the road that like to “poke the bear”, however, it is up to you whether or not you react. Instead of getting angry and letting them know they are number one with that special digit, create a picture of patience and say to yourself and them, “I hope you get where you are going safely and everything is alright”. Then smile and wave. Try it, and I assure you, that you will feel a sense of happiness and peace instead of anger, and you will go through your day a bit more confident in your ability to stay calm and be happy.