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Jan 6, 2010

It's so important to learn how to relax in the midst of irritation. In the beginning this appears to be an insurmountable, almost impossible thing to do, but if you have built a practice of regular meditation (as I have), not necessarily daily meditation but certainly enough time accrued that you are not a stranger to sitting and clearing your mental palette, then the challenge becomes how to meditate in action!  This is really a practice in becoming conscious of each moment as it unfolds and allowing yourself to stop and reflect rather than react immediately. That moment of reflection may allow you to see the situation from a completely altered viewpoint and calm down. On the other hand, if this isn't possible then you have the option to "take a moment" out of the place where you are, breath deeply and allow your body to digest the situation. Calming down will allow you to table an immediate reaction until you have all the facts at your disposal, or until you can see another perspective.

As you can probably infer from this, I am one of those people who has, for most of her life, reacted quickly and often wrongly to situations! I tended to panic, lose my calm, blow up, or freak out or beat myself up when things didn't go as planned, and we all know--come on!--that life never goes as planned! Surprise is the norm, despite this fantasy we all have of consistancy and stability. It really doesn't exist and those "curve balls" we think life is throwing us are really just the ordinary everyday dance of the ever changing energy; the ebb and flow of constant movement that makes 3-dimensional reality so amazing, challenging and volatile. I believe we volunteered to come into this concrete 3-dimensional world for many reasons, even though sometimes we act surprised and somehow "forget" why we are here. We are here to be the creators of our own lives and by our thoughts, our actions, our movements, our deeds and our approaches, we paint a new picture or sing a new symphony practically every moment.

Therefore, instead of avoiding irritation as if it were the enemy, let us embrace irritation as a friend; a teacher telling us to receive into ourselves something that appears foreign, but is really just more material stuff of the universe that we can utilize for our creation moment to moment. Refocus. What works? What doesn't work? Can we change what doesn't work or do we need to live with it for a while? Is it life threatening or just annoying? We are, as a species, tending to focus on what is wrong, rather than what is right. "Critical thinking" has produced a culture of people trained to trouble shoot in every sphere of life. Instead of trouble shooting, maybe we ought to be "wonder shooting!" Let's look for the wonderful in every moment. If a man is facing you with a gun, obviously, do what you can to stay alive, but if there is nothing to do, do nothing!  Death is just rebirth into another consciousness. You will come back again. Some people find this depressing, frustrating or terrifying, but the bottom line is that if we, as a society, had a better attitude and understanding about death, our lives would be more functional.

In the light of all this, those small irritating moments disappear and seem like nothing! So let us put up against our daily irritations the one final moment of our life in this body, in this time, in this mind, in this culture. If faced with death, would this small thing really matter that much?
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Posted: Wednesday January 6, 2010, 8:41 am
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Allison F.
female , single, 3 children
Chicago, IL, USA
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