“When there is tension in you, seek within to find out what you are fighting against to cause that tension.” – Eileen Caddy.
The idea of mental tension or inner tension has been in a mind for a while, and I often observe that it is created when I resist or, like I understand the quote, mentally fight a situation. When things don’t go as I want them to go or when I don’t like what is happening. Since the start of this school year, I am trying to catch myself when I am adding tension to a situation because of my resistance to it. I must say it is very helpful, and something that helps is to ask myself what my role is and how I can play that role with an open mind and an open heart.
It isn’t always easy, and it requires discipline and self-reflection, but with practice, I notice it is allowing me to waste less energy in creating internal (and external) distress, and rather spend my energy in what I perceive as a productive and constructive way.
I think it is helping me develop more constructive and positive relationships with my students and with those close to me. Somehow, a big shift has happened in my mind, and what before seemed like big deals, seem more like opportunities to learn and grow together.
A key element to this kind of exercise is time. Time is such a challenge for most of us, but I am experiencing the benefits of always taking the time to stop and talk, or maybe even more importantly, let the other talk. Ask critical questions, be curious, and let ideas, solutions, alternatives come to us. Don’t push it, don’t fight it.
I don’t always agree with what my students or my kids come up with (or other adults for that matter), but it is their clarity, their learning process, and I am experimenting with allowing them to come to their own conclusions. Because that is what we all are doing in this life after all. We are all learning to take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions to act with as much clarity as we can. But this clarity comes from our own perception of the circumstances, so my clarity, will most probably not be your clarity. Or my clarity today might not be the same in ten years time. This is where values come in handy so I don’t fall into too much relativism. The one that I keep going back to is ahimsa or non harming. Easier said than done, but good to go back to over and over again until hopefully one day, it will come naturally in all circumstances.