Being Kind Under Pressure – The Broad Place

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Being Kind Under Pressure

This week I woke to the micro pressures of teaching meditation, a tonne of mentoring, many many meetings, workshops, talks and teacher training. In essence, perhaps too much in one week. It’s the perils of doing what you love and the never ending process of learning to say no. Plus I’m excitable, so I want to say yes to awesome stuff, but it means my calendar can all off a sudden be insanely tight.

My old button was panic, I was not good under pressure and cracked like a little walnut. Now after so much study and work on human behavior, I’ve got a few more tools under my belt. Last week I felt so inspired to write. It was easy and rich. I received beautiful feedback, things felt good. This week though due to where I’m at, I thought practical tools would be more helpful. There’s not going to be as many inspiring metaphors and zen stories, it’s basically just stuff that works…

– when we are stressed, cortisol and adrenaline pound us, which constricts mind, body and consciousness. This contraction feels awful, and we usually find ways to discharge it by being negative. Knowing this and being aware of it is vital to not becoming an asshole when under pressure.

– negativity bonding; it’s a big thing. Gossip, water cooler talk, trolling Facebook, venting, having a bitch. The subconscious idea is that ‘if I feel awful, it’s good to know others do to, or to talk trash so I feel they are anyway’. We all fall prey to this. Not contributing is one part. Even if it’s halfway through something falling out of your own mouth – stop. It’s ok to say ‘oh gosh thank you for your patience, I’m really trying to tone down my negativity’ in explanation.

– Staying in neutral when someone else is bitching is helpful. Getting holier than now and bluntly stating ‘I don’t believe in engaging in negativity’ in response to someone’s meltdown is shaming and is not ok. Just be present for them and dig deep to your own meltdowns and embrace compassion.

– Meltdowns are every so often occasions. Constant negativity is not this. So if you find someone in your life who is being nasty all the time, raise it gently with them. And perhaps question their frequency in your life.

– Be kind. It’s so easy to be kind, but when we are under pressure we so often tell ourselves an ego centric story that we don’t have time. We do. We always have time to be kind. We have 6 extra minutes to buy that homeless person we walk past a takeaway lunch. We have 1 minute to write a quick love note for our kids. We have 30 seconds to pick a tiny flower for a friend. We have time to send a quick text to say we are thinking of a colleague when they’re about to do a huge presentation. We have 12 seconds to fill someone else’s water glass first. We have time to let someone in front of us in traffic. We always have time to be kind.

Sent with love,

Jac x

Photo of a main street in Tokyo where you can place plants outside all night of your shop and no one kicks them over or steals them.

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