This is the beauty of meditation, still or active like yoga or mindful eating, driving, etc…sitting with such physical, mental, and/or emotional irritations shows us we are actually much stronger than we ever imagine. We often feel the need to react to events, both internal and external in order to ameliorate the challenges or nuisances of life when in all actuality they will often pass in time. Many of my clients believe their emotions to be factual and problematic; therefore requiring action. Acknowledging that they have a choice about whether to react to their feelings can be life-changing.
How are you handling the challenges of daily routine? Do you feel the need to fix everything in your sphere of control or can you watch inconveniences, pain, and unwanted emotions and circumstances with an understanding that this too shall pass? It’s not always the easiest choice to make…sometimes it just feels good to dive in and scratch, fix and/or react! The drawback, of course, is that you may very well be jumping too hastily to correct something that, in fact, is not a problem, but rather a necessary part of the whole. For example, allowing your emotions to be without quickly reaching for ice cream, alcohol, shopping, t.v., etc. can actually inform you of perhaps a decision that needs to be made after sitting with the feeling a while. Masking the emotion does nothing more than that, which means you will still eventually need to do deal with the underlying issue if the emotion remains or arises again. On the other hand, if you move too quickly toward that pacifier to numb the discomfort, you also run the chance of spending, eating, drinking, and/or reacting unnecessarily when the feeling may be short lived. Either way you do not give space to the emotion, which is a messenger for your needs.
In my meditation example, it was just an itch, but by not scratching I was gifted with the incredible reminder of how tolerant we can be if we allow ourselves. I often share the acronym of STOPP with clients to help them exercise this muscle in tolerance:
S- stop and step back
T- take a breath
O- observe thoughts, feelings, and environment
P- pull back for perspective
P- practice what works