Find Happiness 61: Don’t Depend on Others’ Courtesy

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Do these sound familiar?:

  • “He didn’t ask how my cold  was. He’s brazenly insensitive and I’m really upset.”
  • “She didn’t ask after my mother. She’s so selfish, I’m really upset.”
  • “He didn’t ask about my new job. He doesn’t give a damn about me, I’m really upset.”
  • “She didn’t come to meet me at the airport. She has no manners, I’m really upset.”
  • “He didn’t condole my uncle’s death. He’s absolutely callous, I’m really upset.”
  • “She never even asked about our new baby. She has no social graces, I’m really upset.”
  • “He never thanked me for all I’ve done for  him. He’s an ungrateful wretch, I’m really upset.”

Now think about this: if it didn’t matter to you whether

  1. people thanked you or
  2. people made inquiries of you,

… wouldn’t you have much less cause for agitation ?

Your reactions to those things are really from learned behaviour… learned from your parents, other family, peers or the media. You were not born with those reactions. Nothing will go wrong if you lose them!

  • Try not reacting in the above circumstances and see if you like where it gets you.
  • Start today.
  • The next time somebody does not thank you or make polite inquiries, do not say anything.
  • Inhale slowly to the count of ten.
  • Then pay attention to some other matter, one that is not disturbing.
  • Repeat the above procedure whenever your mind goes back to the initial reaction.

 

Try it out for two weeks. If you like the difference it makes, make it a habit. You’ll be delighted at how much more enjoyable your life is!

Warmly,

lucky

 

 


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Find Happiness 12: Anger Management and Inner Peace

anger-managementOne of the many great things about finding inner peace is that it has a profound effect on how often and how strongly you feel anger. It definitely should find a place in everyone’s anger management toolbox.

The mechanics of the relationship between anger and inner peace is worth understanding.

Inner peace is the state of being that exists beyond your mind. It’s the basic you that’s aware of all your thoughts and emotions. It’s been there ever since you were first conscious, which was at some point in your mother’s womb. It’s what has been aware of everything that’s happened to you since that moment. It has never changed… what’s changed has been your thoughts and your external environment… these have been in unceasing flux.

Because the basic you is aware of all thoughts and other sense impressions, it is separate from them. It’s like you’re on a sidewalk watching busy traffic. Does it matter to you what color the cars are? Do you get injured if they bump against one another? No. You are unaffected by what happens on the road.

In exactly the same way, the basic you is unaffected by thoughts, emotions and sense impressions. Unaffected by worries, anxieties, stress and thoughts as a whole. Unaffected by your senses of smell, touch, sight or hearing.

Notice how thoughts, sight and hearing were included in the list of inputs. The basic you is unaffected by what you think, see and hear.

So supposing you have found inner peace. Then someone talks to you angrily or insultingly. You’re seeing him, you’re hearing him and you’re thinking about what he’s saying. In other words, you’re getting sights, sounds and thoughts related to him.

But they don’t affect you. Especially the thoughts. Thoughts like, “How dare he talk to me like that and get away with it…” (these are the thoughts that usually make people explode in return). But now you just watch those thoughts come and go in front of you. You are their calm, peaceful witness.

Wait for your mind to come up with a rational solution to the situation. One like, “Maybe I should tell that angry guy that we had better talk later when we can discuss things peaceably…”  or “I’ll just smile and tell him I’ll call him after about an hour…” It’s easy to come up with good solutions when you are peaceful.

So, did you manage your anger? No you did not… because there wasn’t any in the first place!

To your cheerfulness and compassion,


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Find Happiness 10: How to Be Peaceful No Matter What

peaceful-lake First off, what do I mean by "Be Peaceful"? I mean a state of mind where there is no agitation, no stress, no anxiety… something analogous to the surface of a placid lake.

And by "No Matter What", I mean even in  these example circumstances:

  • Someone is yelling and insulting you
  • You are confronted by an armed robber
  • Someone very close to you dies
  • Someone does something that goes against one of your important principles
  • A natural disaster is in  progress

    The first step is to realize that you are different from your thoughts. This may not happen immediately, but will definitely happen with continual practice. 10 minutes a day is all it takes.

    The upshot of realizing you are separate from your thoughts is being able to quietly watch them.

    So let’s consider the thoughts that will be running through your mind in one of the above circumstances.

    Let’s take the first one (believe me, almost every person on the planet has been there!)… let’s say you and your partner are having a heated argument, and your partner is slamming you with f’s, b’s and s’s.

    Instead of screaming back impetuously, separate yourself from your thoughts and watch them. You’ll probably see thoughts like, "Who does s/he think s/he is?!!" or "s/he’s not giving me the respect I’m due" or "I want to slap this  person hard"…

    But just keep watching them. This prevents you from getting angry and enables you to keep thinking with a clear head. This state of being your mind’s observer is the essence of your being, the basic you.

    Watch what your mind suggests you do about the situation. Your train of thought will start off being very similar to what it would be if you were not identifying with the basic you, but at a certain point will change for the better. This is because as the basic you, i.e. as a peaceful witness to all your thoughts, you will personally not feel insulted (such feelings may occur, but you will be calmly watching them and not identifying with them), and your train of thought will not continue on the initial agitated or angry track.

    Once your mind decides on what your response should be, you (i.e. the basic you) make the body act accordingly by doing or saying what the mind decided.

    Take note that the key principle here is to watch your thoughts during the event and let the mind decide what it wants to do, then act accordingly.  If you lose your cool, you’ve blown it  :-) 

    The takeaways:

    1. Spend 10 minutes a day to realize that you are separate from your thoughts
    2. Use this separation to keep a cool head during events that are typically stressful.

    Good luck, this method works for me and it will for you too!


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