Friday, January 25, 2008

Experiencing Less Anger

(Laura) I can personally attest to this week’s Module Morsel thought (which is why I wrote it!) I experience so much less anger now that I understand what makes me angry. It isn’t even that I need to “control” my anger (control is just an illusion anyway), it is that I have access to a different path. My anger isn’t a necessary path or outlet, I can choose something else.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How things "should" be

My Internet home page is set to Wayne Dyer's Daily Inspiration. This is the inspiration for today:

I release the need to determine how things “should” be.
If you are suffering in your life right now, I can guarantee that this condition is tied up with some kind of attachment to how things should be going.

I think this fits so beautifully with our discussion. For me right now it's not about being right, per se, but about how things should be. (Although, they really are the same when I think about it.) I get frustrated when my kids don't cooperate, don't move fast enough, or change their mind at the last minute. Understandable frustrations, but ultimately about the way I think things should be.
Then there's the dog. We have 2 miniature dachshunds named Walter and Payton. Payton is a girl, black and tan, 11 years old, cute and sweet and my dog. Walter is a boy, brown, 16 years old, mean and my husband's dog. Walter and I have a love/hate relationship. The older he gets, the more I seem to hate him. I feel bad saying it and I've tried to figure out why. Studying this module helped me figure it out - he doesn't act the way I want. Granted, he doesn't act the way most people would want, but I need to find compassion for him. He's 16 (old even for a small dog), fairly blind and deaf and occasionally senile. He doesn't even bother to let us know he has to go out, if we don't do it regularly he'll just go wherever he is - the kitchen rug, the couch, my husband's lap. We also catch him sometimes just standing and staring into a corner. Did I mention he bites? I still have a bruise under my thumbnail from a recent one.
This month's study is dedicated to Walter. May God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Blame and Being Right

I have been thinking about this week’s Module Morsel, specifically Marshall Rosenberg’s idea that anger is from blame. Is there a connection between blame and feeling you are right? (Or am I getting a bit too esoteric! ☺ ) It just feels that blaming and feeling you are right are both ways of making the other person wrong. And, can’t help but see the control in each of those. We have an idea about how something is to go and then blame or feel the other is wrong when it doesn’t flow the way it did in our head. (Of course, the other can be a person or an object or a situation or a dog! ☺) When we draw it into ourselves and fully accept responsibility not for what happened but our reaction to what happened, compassion can ensue.

These thoughts came from my thoughts around does anger only happen when you feel you are right. Marya commented that she wasn’t sure how that fit when she was angry with her dog. I had to admit I didn’t either so I pondered it. Maybe being right is also about feeling you are right about the way something should flow, how a day should go, how your dog and everyone else in your life should act. I know I can get frustrated (read: angry) when my son would has a fit and I have to stop what I am doing to tend to it. This month I have been watching myself and working on being perfectly present with my children. Yesterday I had a lovely day with them. I had a few things I wanted to get done and then went about them with a soft attention. Whenever my children needed me, I stopped immediately what I was doing to turn my full attention to them and be with them completely. The day flowed effortlessly and I seemed to get everything done without even trying. Powerful!

(Sorry for the rambling post. I have a lot on my mind on this topic. Thanks, Marya, for pushing me on this one!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Compassion and Our Family of Origin...

(Here is something from one of our participants who wanted to remain anonymous. What do you think?)

I had a little dilemma and thought well this was perfect for the compassion club. My focus this year is my family and as of late a little issue with my Mom. She has enormous trouble sleeping, and has ever since I can remember. She does take many medications that are supposed to help but I also think prevent her also from being able to. (So many meds-hard to know what is going on) Anyhow, she complains about it quite a bit. She mentioned to me the fact that she could not turn her thoughts off at night. Which sounds familiar on occassions for me so we got together to discuss breathing and some meditation. I suggested to her to do what I did when I started and then gave her 2 techniques for breathing along with a Andrew Weil tape. What was interesting about it was that she w as par tailly open to the information but kept insisting that she had tried some of it and "how do you let go of thoughts?" Hmmmm,
Well, I tried my best, but one of my family of origin issues is the fact that I am the baby. I tend to be the one that everyone turns to for an empathetic ear but not for action. It very seldom in the past and the very recent past arises that I am knowledgable enough at something to give advice. She tends to dismiss most of what I say, saying that she has tried it all and she just doesn't sleep well (we have had that conversation so many times I cannot count!) Both David and I made the observation that this is a self fullfilling prophecy for her.

So my dilemma is that it is slightly frustrating, I am fine if all that is required of me is to listen but to be drawn in and then dismissed is challenging for me and also how to help if at all?

Monday, January 14, 2008

This Week's Inspirational Quote

“You feel good not because the world is right,
but your world is right because you feel good.”
-Wayne Dyer

What do you think?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Anger and Being Right

“We cannot become angry unless we believe we are right.
Today when you feel irritated about something,
breathe deeply and allow being right to melt into being present.”

Here is a quote from Judith Lasater from her book Living Your Yoga. What do you think? Let us know if you have any experiences around this thought...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What am I angry about?

(Marya) Actually, nothing! Yay! Talk about a transformation! In 2006 I did this program (then called A Year of Living Nonviolently) because I actually felt, well, violent. I could feel anger bubbling all over in me. That year helped me tremendously, most especially to figure out exactly what I was angry about. I've come a long way, baby.
My mission for this year is to be more compassionate and accepting of those in my extended family (beyond my husband and kids). In addition to just outright Anger, I have been experiencing great frustration, irritation, impatience, apathy, annoyance and other derivatives. I've been working through all of these pretty heavily for almost 2 years. I month or so ago I had a huge outburst of anger directed at someone in my family, one like I haven't in a really long time. I felt bad about it and was a little regretful. I realized later that this one big outburst really helped me release a lot and I have felt so incredibly compassionate ever since. Has anyone ever experienced something like that?
Oh, and I did remember something I'm angry at - my dog. But that's another story.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Restorative Yoga = Irritation ???

(by Karen) I am not one for letting go, and I am not one for restorative yoga. I get IMPATIENT and IRRITATED in restorative yoga. Forever, I thought it was because of all the folding of blankets and the organizing and placement of all the props. Wrong! I was feeling the irritation because I knew that after I got everything set up, my work in that pose is to let go, to give up control. Interesting isn't it? Each day this month I have added at least one restorative pose to my yoga practice. I will continue with this for the month of January. It is already making a difference. There is a saying that "there is no place that is not your yoga mat". By working on this on my mat, it will help me to take it off the mat, with the intention of being more aware of where my control issues may lead to impatience, irritation and anger in my life. I'll keep you posted :-)

Quote for Today

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. The Buddha

Oh my, do I resonate with today's quote. I feel the punishment most when I become angry with my children. I feel so disconnected with my heart when I am angry and that disconnection hurts me deeply; it causes so much suffering. I also get much more how it isn't my angry words that hurt my children as much as it is the disconnection between us my own disconnection with my heart engenders between us. When hearts disconnect, it is truly painful.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Impatience and Anger and...Control

As I wrote about in the module, my anger still stems from my impatience. What I have since discovered is my impatience stems from more serious control issues. (Anyone else? Am I alone here?) As Marya said in the Module Morsel “accept not expect”. I have many expectations as to how something should go, most specifically, my schedule. I am planned and scheduled to the minute (it feels like sometimes) and children often have different ideas... I am studying surrender for this year to loosen up here. I am ready to feel even more flow in my life.