“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
This morning I was in a rush. I normally make a huge effort to move throughout my day with ease, however after teaching a private and taking a leisurely yoga class, I felt “behind” on my work and didn’t have time to waste….not for red lights or landscaping trucks carrying huge trees, which force them to slowly roll down the double lined, one lane, no passing street.
All I WANTED was for the truck to get out of my way so I could get on with my day.
My first urge was to get all huffy at the inconvenience of being slowed down, all of which probably would have amounted to an extra 4 minutes on my ride home; but I fought it.
I refused to let myself go to that place where we sometimes can let one silly little thing set us off and set a negative tone on a day that has the potential to be awesome.
So what did I do? The same thing I always do when I start to feel anxious or annoyed about something-
I took in a really, deep, long breath, and then released a double- long exhale while I thought about what meaning this obstacle, albeit superficial, had for me today.
Yep- I NEEDED to s l o w down.
It wasn’t complicated to figure out- I always come to the same conclusion when anything I didn’t ask for comes into my life- “This is what you need right now, so don’t fight it, ease into it.”
You know those lyrics that our favorite old british dude sings? “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might just get what you need?”
Whether it’s a slow moving truck, a screaming toddler, or getting fired from your job, there is meaning in every single experience you have throughout your day- sometimes we are all on such autopilot that we just don’t notice.
In order for you to get some “Satisfaction,” (pun intended) then you need to TRY to let go of what you want, and be okay with what you get. You need to give up the desire for each moment to look a certain way, and be content with how it actually is.
The Buddha talks about how suffering comes from not living in the the present. If you’re in a moment, wishing for it to be anything other than it is, then you’re in the past or in the future; which is a first class ticket to the land of Dis-Satisfaction.
The GOOD NEWS?
You have the power to change the way you view a situation, and then how you react to it.
Accepting life how it is doesn’t mean that we should dismiss future action on making our lives, and the world at large a better place; it just means that we start from a place of contentment with how it already is.
We let go of attachment to a future outcome, and quickly release any tension or anger that arises when we do encounter an unpleasant experience on our way to making change happen.
The Buddha talks about personal satisfaction not coming from what we experience, but how we respond to what we experience.
The EVEN BETTER NEWS? Because we are in control of how we respond to those situations, in the end we all have the power to “Get Some Satisfaction” and learn something from the moment at hand.
What’s the easiest way I’ve found to quickly find satisfaction in the moment? Stop and take a few deep breaths, and think how you want to FEEL one minute, one hour, or one month from now in response to your reaction of the present moment. Do you really want to yell at your son for accidentally spilling his juice, or be rude to your boss even though he is being unreasonable?
No, of course you don’t.. because that will make you feel crappy, and that’s never what you NEED.
So remember, the next time life puts an obstacle in front of you, whether it’s an unwelcomed deadline at work, a back-talking teenager, or that slow moving truck- ask what it is you NEED from that moment in form of a lesson, experience, etc- and accept it fully.