Ok, so this is a weird title I know, but let me explain a little before you click away from this page.
One of the many things that regular meditation has taught me is that I can control my emotions and my reactions to any given situation that life throws at me. So whatever happens I get to choose how I react to it. For example I am making my living as a limousine driver right now. It is full-on-height-of-an-unprecedently-busy-season-madness here in New Zealand. Crazy stuff. The traffic where I live is often gridlocked, which is nuts for a small tourist town, but that’s life. I am often on a tight schedule running people to the airport and other places for deadlines. It is very easy to become anxious when sitting in a long queue of cars in the heat, time is ticking and nothing is moving.
So here’s what I do when I need to change my state:
Pause my thoughts
Slow everything down
Relax as much as I’m able
Take a couple of deep breaths (inconspicuously if I need to)
Ask myself what can I do right now to change this situation? Very often it’s nothing.
Ask myself will getting anxious help? Obvious answer – NO.
Ask myself what will help? Often it’s just to smile
Choose the positive emotion I need for the particular situation
The point here is that it’s crucial to recognize that emotions are a temporary state. They pass and it’s possible to choose which ones you feel and hang on to. Let the negative ones pass quickly and hang on to those which are useful and empowering. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal; you can CHOOSE the way that you live it.
This has been a HUGE turn around for me. Previously I was a victim to my emotions. Emotions happened to me not for me. Now I choose. I believe that this is a direct result of regular meditation – I have learned to recognize my feelings, observe them as they come and go and now I realize that I can make the negative ones leave. Awesome! With this comes the ability to let stuff go……..and what a relief that is.
Next up: A different perspective on anger