I think Kermit the Frog has it right…it’s not easy being green.
There have been many opportunities this past week for me to fully be present with where I am. Gracefulness was not always my partner in the moment, but I certainly allowed myself to fully feel what I was experiencing.
Fear has an interesting grip that presents itself differently in all people. One of my challenges is around not letting someone else’s fear response trigger a heightened fear response within me. The continuation of the challenge happens after I have been triggered…can I lean into what is being offered as a learning opportunity.
This is another reminder for me to check in with the Four Agreements (by don Miguel Ruiz, if you are unfamiliar): Be impeccable with your word, don’t take things personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. When my fear response is triggered, I am not honoring a single one of those agreements. To be one’s self is to see and act beyond the fear, not getting wrapped up in the cowardice of the fear. If it were only as easy to do as it is to write…
Being impeccable with your word is not nearly as easy as it might initially seem. Sure, say what you mean and mean what you say. But there are many other levels…what you say to yourself in your head, what you say about yourself, what you say out loud to other people, how you say it and even your intention as to why you say it. The many layers of this agreement alone reflect the power of the quote above. When my fear is triggered, it can be quite a challenge to stay in integrity and impeccability.
Breathing is an essential key to honoring impeccability of the word. Inhale for a count of five, suspend for five and exhale for five. It seems like an eternity when fear is triggered and the defensiveness of the moment is boiling just under the surface…which is exactly why breathing is so essential. Not only does breathing slow me down, it also slows down the pace of the moment. Without an immediate defensive response, the energy becomes less charged…a critical and necessary step to allowing the moment to shift.
Using the phrase, “Help me understand”, also aids in staying courageous and open. Not only does it guide impeccability of the word, it also helps with not making any assumptions. The ability and desire to resolve conflict also tends to defy the norm. To me, it is important to learn from the moment and lean into the discomfort. I would rather be courageous and uncomfortable than cowardly and disconnected.
“Help me understand” opens the door for vulnerability, allowing the other person to give voice to what is really going on. It guides the uncomfortable conversation without defensiveness, keeping the heart and ears open to what really needs to be heard. Even when the question isn’t answered, there is often still a nugget to be gained. From there, another “help me understand why…” can be offered.
So much can be learned from bravely being one’s self…what are you willing to learn?