Recently I’ve been pondering a process I call “bewilderment”—or, as I like to pronounce it, be-wilder-ment. I figure if we all become a little wilder, a little more present, a little more connected to whatever it is that makes dogs so damn happy, we’ll feel better and do better things. The first step in the bewilderment process is simple: CALM DOWN.
The whole world functions this way: Real threats do exist, but when we approach life with fear, we see threats in everything, including unconditional love. We puff up in self-defense, which others perceive as aggression. We use violent, extreme words and actions when peaceful attentiveness would work far better.
If you’d like to be-wilder yourself, try this: Whenever you notice that the monologue in your head is fear-based (worrying about the future, belittling yourself, fussing over what others may think) stop, breathe deeply, and switch to a silent loving-kindness meditation, repeating phrases like: “May I be happy. May I be calm. May I feel safe and protected.”
It sounds so simple, because it is. Wild things don’t make speeches, they just notice what’s really in front of them. What’s in front of us is a world where far more goes right than wrong. Make your mind part of the world’s peace, instead of its fear, and I promise, life will get better and better.
Martha Beck, Make your Mind part of the Peace,