“The moment that judgement stops through acceptance of what it is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace.” Eckhart Tolle
Yesterday evening we arrived at the lovely venue we work from to teach week 5 of our latest 8 week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Course.
Walking into our teaching area we realised there was an unknown lady already there talking to couple. We politely enquired how long she would be and realised there was a huge time overlap. We explained that we were about to set up for our weekly meditation group and asked her if she would please mind using a different room as the building was empty but this was the only room large enough to house our group. She refused to move ‘as she was there first, and had paid to be there.’ We had to call the manager who talked to her over the phone and explained that she was supposed to be in a room upstairs. The lady still, very unpleasantly, refused to move leaving my group now waiting in the corridor, and the manager feeling bad that something, totally beyond her control had happened in her extremely well run clinic.
We were left with the option of cancelling or squeezing into a small room. The room was hot and there was no space to lie down but the group remained upbeat and helped moving chairs etc around. When everyone was seated I was asked what the weekly theme was and we had to laugh when I told them it was acceptance of difficult situations and people. What could have marred the evening was actually a great starting point for a discussion.
There was a time when a situation like this would really have upset me, the lady’s attitude would instantly have cultivated automatic ruminative thoughts such as ‘Why is she being horrible to me? What have I done? How can I fix it?’
The truth is, in situations such as these, rarely are other people’s words or actions meant to hurt us personally. Many people have a default automatic reaction they call upon whenever they are feeling wronged or stressed. (Road rage is another good example of this).
We can never control the way other people react or treat us but what we can control is the way we feel about it. Do we dwell on unpleasant events going over them again and again, possibly envisaging different outcomes. ‘I wish I had of said/done………….’.
Through Mindfulness I have learned to change my negative, self limiting thought patterns. George Orwell once said “Happiness can exist only in acceptance”. I choose to be happy.