Good Morning. Nothing grows willfulness and anger like willfulness in others. Anytime you feel like you have locked horns with someone, you can probably feel willfulness. Whether dealing with a toddler who repeats NO over and over, a teenager stuck in their position, or when you are in a conflict with a partner or colleague, willfulness breeds more willfulness. But, it does not have to be so. The concept of equanimity means that in the midst of a conflict, with practice, you can recognize feelings of anger and urges in yourself to be willfull, angry, and oppositional. By taking the 10,000 foot view and observing the whole picture, it becomes clear that that you are stuck. There are metaphors like a tug of war. You feel if you drop your position, you might be hurt. Or, the other person might be hurt. Mindfulness asks us to be dialectical, to see the whole picture, to see what’s left out. Often we can come at a problem from the side instead of head on. We can find areas of agreement to focus on to get momentum.
Today’s Practice is to settle and breathe a few times. You may have seen this photos before. that’s ok. Look at the photo. What do you see? A young woman or an old woman? Practice looking at it so you are able to see both (one at a time). Practice going back and forth. This is dialectical, out of the box thinking. It helps to get outside your own perspective when faced with willfulness in others or when you see willfullness pop up in you.
Willingness and flexibility makes everything easier. Have an easy day!