Sometimes, it is when I hear my own thoughts and my judgment of others, I realize that I need to use the Noticing Myself Skill. This skill, Noticing Myself, involves asking ourselves, “What am I noticing/sensing/feeling?” I start paying attention to my body and my emotions.
For instance, during recent events in the Capitol, I heard myself asking, “How could they? How is this possible? Why are the police doing nothing?” My internal dialogue was all about what other people were doing and realities outside of my control, and it had a tone of despair and exasperation. I became aware that I was getting pretty heated. I could feel my own tension rising. I could feel myself getting triggered, and I chose to turn off the TV and avoid the images and sounds of that day.
I had to remind myself that it is OK to avoid if it serves a purpose, and I can honor my own Protective Pattern of Avoiding to help me stay centered during a difficult time. Ultimately, on that day, it was the right choice for me. It allowed me to finish my work with colleagues/partners in meetings and remain present, and I was able to switch into ‘dad mode’ later that evening without feeling like a simmering pot, ready to boil over, reflecting and perpetuating the energy from the Capitol in my own home.
Of course, I’ve had to revisit my own feelings and the events that transpired, but I was able to do so without my strong emotions overwhelming me. I was able to better use the Centering Skill of Positive Reframing for the events and listen to how people were responding and the Centering Skill:Find Gratitude for those who spoke out and took action. In that calm reflection, I remembered what Confucius once said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” I am curious and excited about how we, collectively, will learn from recent events, and I am focused on the future we get to create together.