Friday, February 19, 2016

React or Release? How Mindfulness Brings Compassion

Had just enough time to try a new vegan cafe, and I was by myself--no kids, no family--for the first time in years. I walked in, expecting a warm welcome, but none came.  I sat down. No one came. No one brought a menu, so I asked for one, and was told they were up at the counter.  Went up and grabbed one and sat back down again. No one came. Started working on some writing, fully expecting that someone would notice me, maybe ask me what I wanted to drink, etc. No one came.

No one told me you were supposed to order up front, so I waited for 20 minutes at that table dramatically looking at that menu, and no one took my order. I noticed a big line forming up front. Got concerned--was so short on time as it was. Asked the cashier: "Am I supposed to order here, then sit down?" "Yes," was her hurried and harried reply, as she was clearly very busy. Looked at line, now 8 people long, when there was no line when I got there. Could've been eating by now. So hungry, so thirsty. Felt frustration and indignant anger were building. 

My thoughts went wild: "They should have told me when I came in! They just left me sitting there! I need to complain about this. They need to hear about this injustice that has been served to me. They need to feel bad for ignoring me. Maybe give me a free meal. Put me at the front of the line." Took a few deep breaths. Looked around. They were all college kids, working their tails off. Multitasking as much as I do as a mother and more. I looked at the posters and flyers all over the coffeehouse, advertising charity concerts and helping services. I checked my phone. Still enough time. I remembered when others got mad at me for their own reasons, because I was so busy I didn't fulfill their expectations, and how badly I felt during those times. Returned to the present sensations. I was just hungry. Just thirsty. Just tired. Went to back of line. Waited my turn. Ordered and paid. Food came out in 3 minutes with a huge smile added on, and an extra big cup of tea. 

What a different world when mindfulness brings compassion. May we all be in this together. So grateful. heart emoticon

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