Mindful awareness

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I find comfort in remembering that all of us are connected to each other. It just feels good to think that each of us in the world has concerns, hopes, and dreams. Each of us wants to be loved and understood. We are all – the billions of us on this planet – are so much more alike than we are different.
But I can lose sight of this when I feel resistance, frustration, and anger. Where else does this happen more than at the airport. Yes, airport travel, when all my hard work on trying to be more open, loving, and mindful flies the coop. The TSA workers push my buttons, try my patience, and offer me the greatest opportunity to practice. I’m not often successful in being cool, calm, and collected there, though.
I know my practice is “working” however, because during my last TSA nightmare I was aware of losing my cool. I was able to take a deep breath and consider the TSA worker as just another person trying to navigate this world. I became witness to my building frustration and anger and replaced those feelings with a sense of interconnectedness with this person. I imagined that she was loved by someone and loved someone in return. She was likely struggling with some concern in her own life. Like me, she woke and showered and ate breakfast this morning. She looks forward to coming home to relax at the end of the day. She just needed to do this work to pay her bills and find some comfort in life.
As difficult as it was to find connectedness with this person, my enemy at the moment, I came to benefit from my new perspective. I felt the tension melt from my shoulders and jaw. I felt less restricted in my breathing. My own knots and difficulties were leaving me as I felt a more positive knot of oneness and connectedness. I softened internally and it was probably visible externally. She may have now perceived me less as an adversary and more at one with her as well.
I’m headed to the airport again next week. Hopefully I will recall last week’s experience and keep myself from being isolated from the people that seem separate from me. It will be another opportunity for me to recognize that the basis for my own anger and frustration is feeling separate and I can replace the negative feelings by feeling one with everything.

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