I believe we can only learn the art of un-freakability by turning everyday challenges into moments of practice. If we use these everyday experiences to grow stronger, we will be prepared to stay true to ourselves in a difficult moment.
Buying groceries in the shop from hell
Let’s go through the four steps that can help us to stay calm by using a simple example: Buying groceries in the busiest shop in town.
Step 1: Embrace your needs
Let’s imagine you want to buy eggs. The first step is to fully embrace your need. Yes, I really want those eggs. Needs are universal. Life is wanting. We want safety, health, happiness and peace of mind. Embracing what you want will energize you, prepare you to face a difficult situation.
Step 2: Balance wanting and non-attachment
Energized you step into the store. It’s packed with stressed people sharing the same goal: Getting in and out as quickly as possible.
The challenge in this second step is to balance the stretch between wanting the eggs badly and not being attached to them. There are two ways of wanting: One way contracts, takes from life, the other expands and goes towards life.
Can you find that feeling in yourself that energizes you to buy those eggs with a hidden smile on your face, a relaxed jaw and bright eyes?
Step 3: Let go of your preferred strategy to get what you want
Your mind has already decided on the strategy to get those eggs: Straight ahead, past the vegetables, first shelf to the right, everyone in your way disappearing magically.
We have the habit to see our preferred strategy to get what we want as our need. We force our way through the shop and get angry at the people blocking our way. The mental map to get what we need becomes our preferred reality. We forget that the mind’s strategy is not our need. The strategy is one possible path towards the need, there are many others.
Take a detour, chat with your fellow shoppers about the best omelette recipe. Seeing more options will relax you.
Step 4: Fully accept the feeling of not meeting your needs
How would it feel, if someone would snatch away the last pack of eggs in front of your eyes?
Try to fully accept the feeling of not meeting your needs. Attachment and needs are not the same. We can grow by non-attachment. The point is to experience more freedom, not necessarily to feel better or get everything you need to cook dinner.
Practice makes perfect
Buying eggs might seem like a childish example to learn the art of un-freakability. And yet it is a first step towards a better life, because it teaches us how to experience more freedom in an unpleasant moment.
Getting your groceries home delivered will make your life easier. But it won’t teach you how to stay calm when shopping in hell. Let’s turn hell into heaven, by learning the art of un-freakability.