Thursday, 18 April 2013

Week 16 Update: How do you stop a steamroller?

Well, well, well. If I could have looked into the future on Monday, I would have been satisfied to see that I chose a fitting week to practice stopping and thinking before I speak. I've had a bit of a roller-coaster week (yes, me!). I'm yet again going to blame being tired. We've had a heck of a week with baby boy's molars wreaking havoc day and night, so I am beyond weary.

When I'm tired, just like everyone else, I get more emotional, my fuse shrinks, and I'm liable to see things through a fuzzy lens. Cue irritability, irrationality, and a hulk-strong urge to vent my feelings verbally.

As I've watched this ebb and flow of emotion and energy this week, I've noticed a few things:

  • Firstly, it can be frustratingly hard to stop a steamroller in it's tracks. You know that feeling ... it bubbles, and bubbles, and bubbles until you feel like you have no choice but to let it out. Maybe you yell, maybe you cry, maybe you say something you wish you hadn't. You might even watch yourself while it's happening and think, "Whoa, what is that person doing? They should really get a handle on it!". Difficult as it is, it is possible! Really! I realised this week that it might take a couple of tries for me to get a handle on my steamroller, but it can be done.
  • It's possible to give my feelings/thoughts/potential actions 'space'. This space acts in such a way as to get a little distance from what's going on, to perhaps consider the fall-out of what I'm about to do/say. Sometimes, when I get some space I might realise that what I want to say is 100% valid, so I go ahead and say it. On the other hand, maybe I get a chance to see it in a different way (and more clearly).
  • It can be a delicate dance between flying off the handle and suppressing how I feel. I reckon I've been guilty of swinging between the two extremes - I follow the urgency of my emotions and let them lead me before I have a chance to think, or, and perhaps just as detrimentally, I push them down and let them simmer. Unfortunately, that just leads to a stinking pile of resentment, frustration and all those other yucky things. Finding the right balance, I think, is easier when I'm able to find that space between myself and how I feel.

Well, that's enough from me for now. I'll tell you one thing though: this week has been far from a quick fix. I've learnt a lot about being mindful, I've found lots to ponder, but I won't be dropping this practice any time soon.

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