A small shift

I walk up to the train thinking about my spot.

How I hope no one’s in it.

I want it all to myself.

To read.

To not be bothered.

Then, I catch myself.

I shake off entitlement.

I tell myself that seat is not “mine”.

And I’m ok with sharing it.

It’s empty.

Relief.

As the train pulls away, a couple rushes on and sits down next to me.

He has a hairy back.

He smells like an old t-shirt.

She is large and takes up a lot of space.

She uses a plastic wrapper to pick at gum on the bottom of her shoe.

I stay next to them the whole ride.

I breathe in.

(although I try to breath in the perfume on my collar to mask the smell of the man’s t-shirt)

I breathe out.

This is a huge shift for me: awareness…tolerance…patience.

I’ve been taking note of small occurrences like this one, where I catch myself in a reactive mode, whether it’s the rising heat of anger, the grasp of rushing, the annoyance when things don’t go as planned.

I notice my usual reaction, and then I shift it.

It’s far from easy. And I’m not perfect.

But it’s a huge step.

Recognizing and allowing.

I came back from module 4 of my teacher training (midterm!) this week, and I have a short turnaround time: I return next week for module 5.

I’ve been cultivating this awareness over the last 4 modules. A conscious approach to my day. Aware of those around me, and aware of my interactions.

In module 4, these topics were particularly meaningful for me:

  • Watch everything. Pay attention in daily life. All our teachings are there.
  • We think we have time. We wait for the right moment. But the reality is we don’t know when we will die. Don’t get lazy. Don’t delay. What’s the point of living with fear, negativity or hesitation?
  • When it comes to our own progress, we never think we’re ready. Don’t wait until you think you’re perfect. Jump in head first. You’ll probably be just fine.
  • If you struggle at something, seek out someone who’s good at it. Apply yourself to what you’re not good at.
  • Find truth in each human interaction.
  • Every single being you’ve come in contact with has made it possible for you to be where you are today. We have a bearing on the lives of others. We are responsible for everyone else…even those who we point to as “other”.
  • We think we know the “truth”. We grasp at what we call truths, only to find out we can be wrong. Question what you hold as real and true. You might find out there’s another perspective.
  • Think of your choices in life and the impact they have on the world.

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