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  • When Something Bothers You, Pay Attention

    Posted on by Heather

    When something bothers you, pay attention.

    Despite the fact that you’ll likely have great aversion to whatever the “bother” is, pay attention anyway. Your reaction carries a thread of awareness straight from your heart.

    I remember one time I was travelling with a colleague. We were on a long haul home from Europe and when we landed he scolded me for not “drinking enough water”. I remember how much it bothered me. But that “bother” taught me a lot.

    First, some in your face self-awareness was in store. “Ok, Heather, I know you like to think you’re so easy going and mellow and don’t get rattled and are mostly zen (ha! Yeah right!) but here’s a reality check: YOU DON’T LIKE BEING TOLD WHAT TO DO.” And you know what, I don’t. Even when it’s good stuff. It’s like this inner wall goes up and I say “nope, not doing what you say, na na na na boo boo!”) Is this what my Mum used to mean when she’d say “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face”?

    But I’m not so self-righteous not to acknowledge this aversion to being told what to do can be a weakness, for sure. I mean, case in point, anyone who flies long hauls knows you get super dehydrated from all the recycled air. It’s good advice to drink water. BUT, and here’s the key take away….

    People (including me! especially me!) like being told what to do, when they ask you what they should do.

    Now this may sound simple, but for me it was a game changer. Since having this mini awakening I’ve intended to stop offering my 2 cents at dinner parties, and over coffee with my siblings and just whenever I have a thought on what you should do. Because what I learned was people like being told what to do, when they ask you what they should do. 

    You see how powerful it can be to pay attention when something bothers you?

    Life lessons on the go. I think this is what they mean by karma yoga.

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