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Mindful : February 2015
When we look more closely at disappointment, we can see how much we judge both ourselves and others when things don’t go our way. Expectations set us up for disappointment. Blame compounds our disappointments. You ca n see this in the littlest blames and judgments: You make a reservation for dinner, but when you get to the restaura nt, they can’t find your reservation and there are no tables available. Somebody has to pay! With many smaller disappointments, humor is a good salve. Really, is there nothing you ca n put on your burrito to replace the brand of hot sauce you just ran out of? Isn’t it even a little bit amusing that you’re so fixated? A disappointing vacation, one that didn’t turn out well, may become the source of hilarity later. In our fa mily, we laugh about a series of “death marches”— hikes that went horribly wrong. When one of these events happens to you, in the present, can you see even a glimmer of funniness in it? Daily disappointment is often connected with the breakdown of a habitual pattern. When you can’t follow a daily routine or habit, it’s very irri- tating—and that irritation is a particular kind of disappointment that we all know. If you’ve been wearing the same brand and style of sneaker for the last 10 years, and suddenly, it’s no longer being made, yes, it’s disappointing. But not getting what you’re accustomed to also wakes you up. You have to look around and see what else is available. You may not want to have a different drink at the coffee shop. Half awake, you just want to put in your order and get your cup of Joe. But when they stop carr y- ing your favorite dark roast, you have to look at the menu and consider the alternatives. Disappoint- ment can be very refreshing. → Contemplation Acknowledging Disappointment 1 Make a point of simply acknowledging to yourself when you are disappointed. Over a day or a week, notice when you’re disappointed because you don’t get what you want. 2 When you’re noticing disap- pointments in your life, it’s helpful to include small every- day disappointments, like running out of milk for your coffee in the morning. 3 It may also be helpful to note when you are disap- pointed in yourself and when you are disappointed in others. mindful practices insight February 2015 mindful 73 The Pursuit of Happiness curriculum is a personal or classroom guide designed to teach important skills that will help you navigate your personal journey to happiness. “Robin Blackwood’s conversion of my book, Too Soon Old, Too Late Sm ar t, into a...course is at once flattering and very impressive. The principles contained herein—that we are defined by our behavior, that we are largel y responsible for what we make of ourselves, that we need to be astute about whom to avoid and whom to cherish as we move through our lives—all are ideas of vital importance. We can never know enough about the pur- suit of happiness.” - Gordon Livingston, M.D. C For more information about The Pursuit of Happiness, find Blackwood Education on facebook or at