There is a mindfulness training: “Don’t be swayed by external circumstances.”
Except then we engage in our lives– tango-ing between our jobs, families, relationships, needs, societal ‘expectations’ and it feels like all we can do is sway and want to stomp our feet.
Trust me. I have.
Whether it was a competition victory, a training day when I got ignored, having my heart-broken, or getting that phone call, I have danced my mind all over the place. Not only initially, but long after–to the beats of repercussion and internal meta-analysis. Objectively now, I can see that the constant factor is me.
And, the beats of life and circumstance will surely keep coming. Sometimes even without our prompting. Some because we choose to react and dance. (As I type this I’m thinking how could I not dance?!). That is why the mindfulness–to not be swayed– may just make sense. What if we pick when and how to dance? Is this possible?
I sat at work (IOP) last night with a beautiful group of brave girls talking about this idea. Could they see a circumstance that made them sway? They each made a simple connection: When I do ______ , I feel ______ ; Or (the inverse), when I feel ________, I behave like _________. I watched them articulate their own private tango between external circumstances and internal reactions, with grace and humility. They were mindful. They were becoming stronger in their partnerships with themselves. In a sense, they were speaking about learning to dance only when and with whom they wanted to. So maybe it is possible.
I hope for that for all of us.
And, if you enjoy a good tango (like me!):