I began listening to Pema Chödrön’s Don‘t Bite The Hook again today, because I realized that at some point in the last month or so I had stopped consciously noticing emotions as they arose, and the realization that I’ve become less mindful bothers me.
I’ve been telling myself that I would begin meditating for each morning after waking up, starting as soon as possible; so, it begins tomorrow morning, if I can get up when my alarm goes off.
During recent dinner with another couple, I noticed how we chatted and the topics we chatted about, and wondered if being a better friend means sometimes leading people to ideas that makes them uncomfortable.
I think about last weekend’s incredibly interesting Design Gym Weekend Workout, and every time I can’t help but be struck by how throughout the entire weekend, never did I get the sense that any of my fellow “designer thinkers” ever doubted their own ability to solve the problems presented to us. I did hear some people express doubts over skills like drawing, but I was impressed by how as a whole the group seemed to have high self-efficacy. It was the kind of environment that has a good mix of inspiration and difficulty, setting the stage for learning to occur.
A recurring topic as of late has been the observation expressed by a few that I don’t seem to express my emotions. I’m amused to hear this because it seems to me that my default state tends to be happy/humorous and that I’m more often smiling than not; of course, since I can’t see myself subjectively, it’s possible that I’m entirely incorrect. Or it could also be, as I suspect, that what my friends really mean is that they don’t (often) see me express emotions that they are used to seeing or used to expressing themselves. The ideas of anger and patience are in my mind, and I wonder how practicing patience of the Buddhist sort (see Don‘t Bite The Hook) affects my current friendships and the way others relate to me. When most—maybe all—of my friends express their own unfiltered, genuine and full range of emotions, positive or negative, restorative or destructive, do I risk alienating myself when I choose to engage my emotions differently? Is the problem one of perception, in which the resolution is merely to lead my friends to understand the way I’ve been learning to handle emotions? Our environments and surroundings, as I’ve been hearing over and over, plays such a part in shaping us, and so when my friends spend time with those who express emotions in similar ways, their own beliefs are reinforced and I end up standing out more. What’s the cost; and should I care?