I used to be more easily triggered by things, more reactive, and generally more anxious and frustrated. Things have been shifting for me though. I’m now more unflappable, more intentionally active on my own terms, and generally more calm and reasonably content.
One of the practices that has helped is to name, own, and state my feelings.
Another practice is centering prayer which has me setting aside time regularly to just “sit and be” with God in silence. It’s quality time with the creator, my truest self, and all that is.
Similarly, regular yoga practice helps me to increase my capacity to be present to discomfort and awkwardness – on and off the mat. It helps me to realize that being triggered, and how I respond to it, is actually a choice.
But increasingly, a new practice that I’ve been employing is when something “less than preferable” takes place, instead of thinking “$&%$ it!! That sucks so much! This is horrible”, thinking “Huh! Well, that’s interesting. Such a curious thing. I wonder what some ways I can interpret or understand that might be? I wonder how God/Spirit/the Universe might be at work here? I wonder how I can be compassionate in light of this?”The key to that second practice is simply saying “Huh!” – as that captures the rest of it in one syllable.
Happy, holy “huh”s to all.
xx – Roger
Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity