Cat From The Mat

Let Freedom Be

It’s the first day of attending a Living Compassion seminar with my local Nonviolent Communication cohorts. I’m sitting front row and center, excited to learn about what I don’t know that I don’t know.  I want to get the “it” there is to get.  

As the session begins, I notice that there are two ongoing loud sounds from the back of the room.   My judgmental mind immediately jumps into the all too familiar terrain of “something’s wrong,” wanting to do change it.  The culprits: two struggling air conditioners. My thinking is that by fixing the issue at hand, I am honoring my need for self-care as well as care for others, since I believe that this racket is distracting to the whole room.  But no one else seems to be as bothered as I am.  The reality is that there’s nothing to be done, but to sit with my discomfort.

Cut to…Day Three.  I am in the same chilly room, with noisy ACs going on and off at whim.  And I no longer hear the relentless din.  When I do focus on it, I am now amused.  I imagine that there are two distinct birds singing back and forth to one another.  So what has happened?  How is it that I am finding ease in the previous annoyance?  What immeasurable steps brought me peace of mind?

My brain is quick to try to figure out every experience that I encounter.  I’m well versed in connecting my feelings to their associated deeper needs.  However, I’m not so patient pausing in that space between experiencing feelings/needs and naming them.  I tend to quickly define my experience then leap into the next stage of taking subsequent action.  This process of slowing down is one way to connect my human being to my human doing.  It’s so simple, yet not easy. 

The ‘it” that I ended up receiving in the weekend intensive was an unexpected inner calmness.  Since then, I have been enjoying ease within my immediate, habitual doer-ship.  When I think that I am stuck behind the slowest person at the grocery store, I first acknowledge and feel my frustration without making it wrong.  I then practice agency…whether to be okay with the leisurely pace or to change to another queue.  If I skip over the preliminary step of pausing to first feel, then I might not shift my relationship to the experience.   There’s no expansion when I get stuck in the contraction of my judgments.

What if I could make room for everything to be as is, without having to edit it?  What if the obstacle was the path itself?  Welcome any irritant as an invitation.  This endeavor is anything but complacent.   This is also my current inner approach to self-care. 

Self-sovereignty, not anxious tyranny, is where the rubber meets the road.  May your month of July be full of hosting moments to observe acceptance of self.  Inner freedom might be most liberating event you’ll ever celebrate!



Cat From The Mat

July 2017 Blog