Our way is to practice one step at a time,
one breath at a time,
with no gaining idea
To gain composure at stressful moments, we can apply the mindfulness effort of letting go – abruptly shifting our attention from our thoughts to the immediacy of our physical environment. By simply being mindful in this way. we discover a visceral stillness, an “emotional space” of not knowing, like opening a door to an unfamiliar room or leaping from a diving board. When we are mindful in the immediate moment, the chaotic flood of emotions no longer view for our attention like a crowd of load, unruly voices. Instead they settle into a physical feeling, unclear and murky, but no less powerful – a vague softness around the heart or an openess in the throat.
Michael Caroll, At Times of Stress, Cultivate Stillness
Speed in work has compensations. Speed gets noticed. Speed is praised by others. Speed is self-important. Speed absolves us. Speed means we don’t really belong to any particular thing or person we are visiting and thus appears to elevate us above the ground of our labors. When it becomes all-consuming, speed is the ultimate defense, the antidote to stopping and really looking. If we really saw what we were doing and who we had become, we feel we might not survive the stopping and the accompanying self-appraisal. So we don’t stop, and the faster we go, the harder it becomes to stop. We keep moving on whenever any form of true commitment seems to surface.
Awareness is our true self; it’s who we are. So we don’t have to try to develop awareness; we simply need to notice how we block awareness out with our thoughts, fantasies, opinions and our judgments. We’re either in awareness, which is our natural state, or we’re doing something else.
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special