It’s almost sunset on Sherbrooke. I’m sat on the swing in the backyard. Two neighbors are there. They are discussing the difficulty that one of them seems to have with a work partner. But my attention is elsewhere. I am here to take a moment for myself, away from the world. I hear, I understand what they say, but I do not care. I am not listening. At this moment, I am paying attention to something else that brings me to another place: I am listening to my breathing.
I isolate myself. I dissociate myself from my ordinary state of consciousness and cut myself off from the hustle and bustle of the world, my mind and my thoughts. I simply focus my attention on my breathing. I observe the movement of my body as my breath passes through. I let myself be absorbed by the sensation; the feeling of entering inside, and repatriating myself in my body.
It brings me back, and I switch to another perception of the present. It’s a vast space where the consciousness of being me relies more on feeling rather than thinking.
Inhale slowly, widely, deeply, without tension.
Exhale slowly. I’m not trying to reach a goal. I just let go.
I keep my attention fixed on the movement of my body while I am breathing, and I enter my internal space, the part of me which is not seen. The part of me that easily escapes from my consciousness.
Inspired by their conversation, one of my neighbors, asks me: “How about you, Olivier, how do you manage the situation when you have communication problems with someone?” How do you live that situation ? How do you solve it? ”
As I was not listening to the conversation, I had no idea about the context of the problem, nor about the current issues. However, I felt respect in the voice of the young man who was questioning me. So, I rephrase his question and pause. Then I answer:
I did not listen to the conversation and I do not know what caused the discord you are talking about. However, we are all living beings and we are all breathing. Now, when I dispose myself and pay attention to my breathing, it brings me back to my body which I can feel from within. Feeling my body calms me down, while at the same time it brings me closer to my center. I feel calm, in balance, close to my resources. I perceive what is happening around me, but I have a certain distance from which I can withdraw myself from what is happening.
Now, look at people who are quarreling. Watch yourself when you are angry, or indignant. Your breath is short limited to your chest, but you are not aware of it. It seems that your consciousness is carried away by the energy of the event, in a dimension far from your center, far from your resources, in your mind. When you are there, you want people to change so that you do not feel this unpleasant emotion, because it costs you a lot of energy.
When you are attentive to your breath, you are connected to your whole being, to your center. From there, you can access your resources. You can take a distance from the situation, and you can reflet on yourself and the situation. You can relativize, think, and reposition your self according to your identity and your values. At the same time, you can recognize and understand the individuality and the difference of point of view of the other person without exhausting your energy.
When you are in conflict, your breathing is shorter, being restricted to your chest area and shoulders. You loose your inner anchor, and your mind is carried away from your resources and your center. You loose your energy, and you think that you have to dominate or to make the other person change, so you can recover that energy. You behave out of your personality, not with your resources. Virtually everyone does this. This is how one becomes insensible and intolerant vis-à-vis the world, others and even oneself.
Personally, I think it is not possible to un-zoom from an unpleasant event and to find, or to improvise peaceful solutions if your mind is being pulled away from your center. Your perceptions generate the energy of conflict and you are not in control of the situation. There is the need to step back from it, and to re-align yourself with your values. To do that, you need to be connected to your inner-self.
Now, it is not enough to understand this intellectually. It is not easy to détaché yourself from the spontaneous movement of your perception and personality. To detach yourself from the momentum of an event, you need to remain master of yourself. It’s an art of living which requires practice, training and determination, because once you are taken by the momentum, it’s hard to get out. If it takes will power, it can only come from you ability to observe yourself.
Then, it takes a training that can keep you inline with your values, and reunite your body and mind in a healthy, centered way that gives place for the other person to be (M. Noel, 2006). I mean a training that tends to free your body of the knots of the unconscious, that lets you be aware of erroneous thinking patterns, and that can forge a strong and assumed personality. That’s what I do with my clients. It does not have to be a long and difficult process, but you have to be determined.
I will coach you if you are looking for ways to solve your conflicts, improve your relationship with the world and the people around you, access your resources in most situations, live or on Skype.
Contact me through my page tchat box to know if I can help you, request an interview and get started.