Don’t hide your heart but reveal it, so that mine might be revealed, and I might accept what I am capable of. – Rumi
After noticing what you have become aware of since you arrived in Madrid, this week’s IFG focused on what our attitudes have been towards those things. Building on what we learned previously about making the effort to learn of others’ stories and challenging our own natural-default settings, we used Tina Fey’s improv rule “Yes, and…” to practice alternative attitudes we could have in uncomfortable situations during your abroad experience.
We also discussed the importance of still learning to sit with hard emotions such as discomfort, frustration, shame, and loneliness, as they play an equally important role in helping us become aware of ourselves. However, the objective of mindfulness is not to fight against these emotions or learn how to be positive or happy 100% of the time.
As Dan Harris says, mindfulness will not “render your life a nonstop parade of unicorn and rainbows” nor should it transform you “into some lifeless, non-judgmental blob.” It’s that you learn how to respond wisely to things that happen to you, to become aware of the many attitudes you can inhabit, including the ones towards your own emotions. Part of that wisdom is being patient with yourself and showing yourself self-compassion.
“The first thing to understand about sitting mindfully with emotions is that we are not trying to change our emotions but rather we are changing our relationship with our emotions. To do this, we need to not only create an open space for our feelings, but also we need to remain compassionate towards ourselves when our capacity to hold our feelings is overwhelmed”