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Mindful : August 2015
and martial arts can also be excellent training in acting despite fear. As directly as you can, despite never having done this before and feeling deep discomfort, you tell John you’re letting him go. John seems stunned and then angry. “ You’ll be hearing from my lawyer,” he says as he leaves. COMPLETING That night you can’t sleep, wondering if you examined the situation enough. By 2 a.m ., you’re working on some way to partly backtrack—a consulting contract maybe? But you eventu- ally fall asleep, and when you wake up, things feel simple and clear and you have new resolve. “ What was I thinking?” you ask yourself. Right after you make the leap to action, another kind of challenge arises. The initial act is only a first step toward your goal. It starts a chain of consequences that brings often unpredictable reactions and opportunities. Bold action will likely bring you unexpected sup- port and also stir up resistance. Completing the action means working with the initial feedback and deepening the effectiveness of what you’ve done. You need to continue to focus, in this case on your initial intention and on not being caught by the temptation to lose your bearings through reaction. After the moment of any significant action, we often have immediate inner feedback, our “second thoughts”—the voices in our head that proclaim, depending on our habit, what a great or lousy job we did (“Oh no, I screwed up again,” or “That will show them who they’re dealing with!”). Such feedback distracts us from seeing accurately what’s happening as a result of our action. Habitual tendencies to want to be liked or look for a fight are obstacles here. Again the classic generic advice is “Don’t look back.” That As you complete an action, try to uphold your intention in the face of internal and external reactions, remaining calm, steady, and confident as if in meditation. 78 mindful August 2015 insight practices Start Here Now: A Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation Susan Piver October 9–11, 2015 An Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Sarah Bowen October 23–25, 2015 The Science and Art of Fulfillment Emma Seppälä November 13–15, 2015 The Mindful Path to Leadership Cheryl Jones November 16–17, 2015 Mindful Parenting: Yoga and Meditation to Help Parents Stay Focused on What Really Matters Carla Naumburg and Hunter Clarke-Fields December 4–6, 2015 Awaken Everyday copperbeechinstitute.org Our more than 40 meditation and mindfulness-based programs offer opportunities to deepen your tranquility and resilience no matter where you are on your journey. Visit our website for more.