Becoming a Cucumber

Embracing Calmness as a core value

I am not calm by nature. 

There actually was a time where EVERYTHING would spark a big reaction from me, usually not a pleasant one. It was too much of a reach to see any other reaction in my grasp.Things wouldn’t be going my way- snap. Someone would do something I didn’t want- snap. Fiancé didn’t buy me the right brand of sugar from the grocery store- snap. 

One day my cool-as-a-cucumber soon to be husband looked at me while I was in a rage fest and said ever so calmly “What makes you think ANYone wants to be treated this way?”. This struck a nerve with me that I have never forgotten. 

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 

Elenor Roosevelt

NO ONE deserves to be yelled at. NO ONE deserves to be made to feel inferior. NO ONE deserves any sort of abuse whatsoever. 

It really wasn’t until 2016 when I took a yoga teacher training that my attitude really began to change. I don’t know if it was the books I read to prepare and study, things I learned, or the immersion into yoga that really changed me. But whatever it was, I began to see things more clearly. Things that really didn’t matter started to fall from my focus (like the need to purchase Domino brand sugar anymore). I was finally happy. In the moment. I finally felt like I was where I needed and was supposed to be.

So ever since then, embracing calmness became something I actively pursued. One thing I’ve realized is there is nothing that doesn’t get at least a little better after 3 deep breaths (ok, except airplane emergencies). But after 3 deep breaths, you are able to see a situation more clearly, have paused to THINK about how it may affect someone else, and slowed your heart rate from approaching the boiling level. 

I am certainly no expert on this, but I try to think of three questions (during my 3 deep breaths) when reacting to a stressful situation or information. 

1. Will my REaction make the situation better?
2. Will I hurt the person that brought this to me by REacting with too much frustration?
3. Is there any other immediate action that is more helpful than me yelling?

I hope this has helped you either think about someone you know as a “hot head” in a different light or perhaps inspired your own calm journey.

Have you had to practice calmness? What are some of your non-negotiable core values?

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