Calm Shaken

Monday, 10 January 2011, 23:21 | Category : Life, working
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One of my words for 2011 was “calm.” I wanted to approach things in my life with a greater sense of peace, and reduce my frustration in unimportant daily matters. I certainly find plenty of times to practice calm, especially with the snow we’ve finally gotten. I watch as other drivers are impatient, speeding up just to slide their way past me (and thankfully not into me) to some unknown destination. Perhaps they’re in a hurry to see about an injured loved one. Maybe they just have hot soup they want to get home before it cools. Either way, I try to practice calm when I’d ordinarily shake my fist and give them verbose lectures about the danger they pose to themselves and others.

I’m having a hard time practicing calm today. I worked from home, and was getting frustrated by the distractions that I used to deal with easily. I’m going through a transition at work, and was frustrated by questions from my new coworkers.  The biggest issue was a project that I was very engaged in being “taken away” from me. I’d spent several hours setting up tracking mechanisms and researching the best way to achieve a goal, just to have a coworker say “I’d rather do that myself.”

Instead of looking at this as an opportunity to focus my attention elsewhere, I took it as a personal affront.

How dare she show such disrespect for the efforts I already had put in? Didn’t she recognize that it would have actually helped her if I had finished the project?

On and on my ranting went, despite all my reminders to be calm.

It’s beyond your control.
It’s an opportunity – you can spend your time on something more fun/rewarding/engaging.
S/he will wish he never said that. (Even when calm, I’m sometimes snarky.)

So, here I am, 3 hours later, still silently fuming. I think at this point, I’ve moved beyond being annoyed at the event, and am now just annoyed that I let my calm be shaken for so long by something so unimportant.

So, here’s the quote I hope to remember the next time this arises:

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.  – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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