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Mindful : April 2018
Preparation A regular contemplative practice will often come to your aid in these situations. Regular meditation practice or other disciplines to bring mind and body together help you to be more aware of yourself and others at all times, includ- ing in heightened situations. Your awareness won’t save you from pain—in fact the pain might feel more acute. However, you may be less over- whelmed by your feelings and more available to yourself and others. Reg ular mindful practice may give rise to insight in challenging discus- sions, helping you to meet difficulties with a little more g race. During The biggest difference between the planned and the spontaneous argument is that emotions gen- erally drive unplanned arg uing. They may arise within the difficult discussions we plan for, but here they dominate. Mindfulness can help when you’re blindsided by anger and emotion. One important approach to mindful reflection, easier said than done in the moment of difficulty, is to suspend judg- ment of yourself or others in an argument. Notice behavior, notice words, notice how some- one looks and talks—whether it’s you or others— without feeling that you have to label behavior as good or bad. Breathe through your feelings, to allow yourself to be present without recrimina- tion. This can transform your whole view of the situation. You can take this approach in your life in general. Apply it when things are going well; then it will be more available to you when things go off the rails. Also include this approach in your review of a painful argument, after the fact. It may be unpleasant to acknowledge how you behaved while arguing with someone. But try to see it without judging it. An extension of this approach to mindful arg uing is to absorb the blame or take blame off the table. This is not about blaming yourself, thinking that you’ve caused the conflict or done the bad things. Absorbing the blame is hearing what someone else is saying, listening to your own internal and external voices and just being with or bearing witness to all that. You take it in and you let it go. Then the discussion can move to a different level; it is no longer focused on who is to blame. When you deeply care for some- one, you are more likely to be able to use this approach. Absorbing the blame allows both → April 2018 mindful 77 get real – Carol Meyers Apprentice Coach & Student. Washington, DC “A core tenet of Mindfulness Coaching School is to bring coaching into the world and make a difference. Faculty skillfully lead students through the inner and outer work to do just that.” (505) 906-6700 www.MindfulnessCoachingSchool.com Mindfulness Coaching School