It is all too easy to limit growing our awareness to our allocated practice times: those times when we sit down to meditate or when we roll out our mats in yoga class. Other times we are too busy with stuff to do and people to see. We may forget, or tell ourselves that we don't have time for the work and play of growing our awareness. We may hold an unconscious belief that it is more efficient to resort to habit. Yet it is outside of our practice times that the real opportunities for transformation present themselves.
Recently I took a trip to attend a workshop where I’d been invited to give a talk on life long learning. I had just boarded the train, picked a window seat and flicked open my laptop to run through my presentation. I was looking forward to a couple of hours where I could work and think in peace. And then ‘she’ came into the carriage and everything changed. Because ‘she’ was carrying a take-away carton of chips coated with a thick layer of mayonnaise. The smell was overwhelming. A smell that had the contradictory effects of making me want to go out and buy some, and of feeling slightly nauseous at the same time. And before I knew it I was off…
The train was still stationary but in my internal world all was moving at the speed of light. The judgmental voice in my head was having a field day (‘no wonder she is carrying a few too many kilos’); my emotional storyteller had kicked off on a victim trip (‘why did she have to come and sit next to me’); my physical system was in a state of agitation; and energetically I was closing up. I was just about to change seats when I noticed the title of my presentation blinking at me from my laptop screen: “Breaking Patterns!”
Well something broke, I laughed and stayed seated. I closed my eyes and taking a few slow deep breaths, I started to observe the smells and my reactions to them. In a non-violent way and from all perspectives – mentally, emotionally, physically, energetically. As I dis-entangled from my initial reactions the space arose for another response. A response that acknowledged that ‘the smell is just a smell’, that all is cool. A response characterized by a sense of physical ease and a gentle opening. A response that is firmly rooted in the peace within.
We all have things that set us off, and we all have that choice of whether to behave conform to pattern or to break that pattern. What are your triggers and what are you choosing?
© David Dodd; June 2012
David is a Life and Business Coach based in Amsterdam (NL) and Bath (UK); for more information visit www.awareness-and-change.com