Over the last week or so, Lee Tracey has been paying attention to conflict. Just paying attention. It sounds easy right? But what has she been paying attention to?
She has been paying attention to exactly how she reacts to certain situations, especially bad ones or ones that perhaps don’t go her way. She has been paying attention to conflict. So what has she discovered?
Paying attention to conflict
I’ve been paying attention, and you know the sorts of situations I’m talking about. Those moments when somebody speaks to you in a way you don’t like, when people display aggression or are just downright rude. It’s just so easy to react in the same way as always and suddenly, before you know it, you’re in a conflict. A conflict of ideas, emotions and words.
You know those times when somebody really gets into your head and annoys you for the rest of your day? You end up having arguments in your head with them even though they can’t hear you. Mental, right? Or maybe it’s something physical like when somebody bumps into you on the street or knocks you off your bike. Those interactions that leave us feeling stressed and irritated.
Respond don’t react
These are especially the types of situations I have been paying attention to and instead of reacting, I have been responding. Taking a moment, taking a breath, and formulating a response with calmness and clarity instead of aggression and rage. And do you know what I have found? I am the one who comes out the better for it, as I can then let go of the conflict. I am the one who ultimately benefits.
When we meet aggression with aggression and conflict with conflict it just grows. When we meet it with compassion it somehow melts away. And ultimately that it is compassion towards your own state of mind. I have been paying attention and some of the conflicts I have seen between others have flared up instantaneously when people come afraid that they don’t have enough. Enough room, enough time, enough space. I have seen reasonable people shouting at each other in the street because they are simply reacting to the perception that somebody is taking something from them and there is not enough to go round. There is always enough. It is when we let go a little we can see a little clearer. So the next time you find yourself in a tough situation stop, observe and subtract.
Observe and Subtract
Observe and take away whatever you need to learn from that situation without losing your cool or your state of mind. Pause, take a breath and decide how to respond rather than indulge in a knee jerk reaction that will ultimately just add to your stress.
Lee Tracey is a qualified Jivamukti yoga teacher who has travelled from Costa Rica to New York, Berlin, and Paris studying and teaching yoga. Her goal is to bring yoga to people that are interested in self-expansion and growth. For more information visit leetraceylife.com