Fall from Mindfulness: Slip Sliding Away

Leave the first response February 5, 2009 / Posted in Breathe, Mindfulness

I took my car into the auto shop on January 28th. Kip lent me her car to drive to my Group Support session at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s (SCIM) Lifestyle Change Program. I parked in the Hilton garage next door, and realized my monthly pass and the new key card were in my car in the auto shop.

Steve, the manager, told me that if I couldn’t prove I had a key card or a permit, there was nothing he could do except have me pay by credit card for the day’s parking.

Bam! I am angry! Remember anger is a defense mechanism. I My blood pressure shoots up. Steve, there must be someway to work this out. No, I can only do something if you have proof of paying for a permit. Anger grows some more. Hmmm, haven’t felt that for awhile. I take a deep breath.

Steve, I realize that it is my problem that I didn’t remember to take my key card and pass. I even paid early for February. I paid by check and the check book is in my car. I know it’s my problem. Is there anything you can do to help me? Nope, you’ll just have to use your credit card. Okay, so there’s nothing you can do to help me solve my problem except have me pay to get out.

My last words before I leave to get to Group: Steve, I understand that this is my problem not yours. I was hoping there was someway you could help me. Your only solution for me is to use my credit card. I feel my irritation and I know it is my problem not yours. I take another deep breath. No time to argue. Got to get to Group

I always start Group Support by focusing on breath. A powerful way to get the group present and in the moment. A great way to get in touch with one’s feelings and emotions. Feelings like breath come and go. Focusing on breath is a great way to be aware and attentive of one’s feelings. During this exercise, each person is asked to share a word or a few words that expresses what they are feeling now.

As I breathed, I felt my adrenaline doing its thing. I reflected on what word I wanted to share with the group. My words were: diminishing irritation. Thanks to Steve I was reminded that my anger is there to protect me. It’s a defense mechanism that will always be there. I felt it and I didn’t feed it or project it onto Steve. And what’s your word today…

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