Mindful: Creating Peace

Read today's Mindfulist post before mine if you'd like the context. While you're at it, look up the podcast.

In the podcast and in this article, mindfulness is mentioned hand in hand with rudeness. I had never considered that yes, in fact mindfulness can fend off our own rudeness and shrug off the rudeness of others. Gwen suggested that if you want to put yourself in the situation of having to deal with rudeness just drive somewhere.

This reminded me of a period a couple of years ago when I had a car. Before I had the car, I used to walk everywhere. Then once you get wheels, it becomes easy to find an excuse to drive. My walk to work used to be an opportunity for mindfulness, almost meditative in letting thoughts flow through my mind without catching them, and observing the season and weather in my journey.

I missed this when I started driving to work, so I started making the journey a bubble of peace and mindfulness. I would catch myself mentally rushing, with busy busy busy mind, obsessing over lost minutes, but then I reframed the moment, relaxing and accepting that I would get there when I got there. I would catch myself thinking "I'm so tired. I'm so tired. I'm so tired." I realised that the feeling I was labelling as tired was actually a combination of "it's so early" and "I'm bored". This helped me realise that I was ready for a change.

It also allowed me to practise staying calm in the face of rudeness and the rushing of others. Instead of bargin around, competing at every corner and light to get out first, I started choosing to let others go first, to take my time, to make a point of letting someone in. This was a revelation! My journey became so much happier. I felt more relaxed. I like to think I was spreading the joy too, because I know that I feel happier when someone does something unexpected and nice - maybe the other drivers went about their day feeling calmer and happier. 

See what you can do. Create some peace.