Have you ever lost it and just wanted to scream? We did when we spent time in India, amidst the crowds and hustle, with little sleep and constantly on the go. There were definitely times when we would lose our cool, get irritated, and lash out at each other unnecessarily.
The ability to keep our peace and maintain an even-balanced state means recognizing that even though there are situations in which we have no control over what happens and no ability to affect the outcome, it is still possible to maintain our balance so that we can remain unshakable in a world that is constantly making demands and creating challenges.
“Usually, when we feel the pressure of life — when it is very busy with all kinds of commotion taking place around us — then we go onto autopilot mode, a state of self-protection and self-preservation. We think everyone is attacking us or taking advantage of us, and we cannot see anyone or anything objectively or lovingly. When our mind can relax a little and become calm and more spacious, then we see there is nothing to fear.” Ponlop Rinpoche, from our book Be The Change
So what are the best ways to keep our cool? How do we transform a volatile situation before we start taking it out on those around us? Here are five ways that work for us:
1. This Too Shall Pass: Just imagine if everything was permanent. Imagine if we were always the same: There would be no butterflies, no full moon, no ocean tides, no cherry blossoms, and no cherries! We never know what is going to happen or when; nothing is predictable, permanent, secure, controllable, or dependable. Everything is subject to change in every moment. Which means that even this stressed out state will pass. Impermanence is our reality, so when we resist it, then we are resisting the very meaning of being here, which is to always be evolving or becoming something more than what we were before.
2. Talking Heads: We are often asked what one thing we believe has made our marriage work as long as it has, despite many ups and downs, and we both agree it is communication. When we start to lose our cool then we become unable to share our feelings and we remain locked in a separate world from each other.
“We define ourselves as separate beings, and if we are separate, then we have to put a wall up around ourselves. We have to protect ourselves and our feelings so that no one else can get to them. Our problems are because this wall does not just protect us, but it also locks us out of our own hearts and so we continue to be isolated and to suffer.” Krishna Das, from Be The Change