Have you ever been in a situation where it feels like all of your energy and positivity are sucked right out of you because of someone else’s behavioral tantrum?
If you work in a school, I am sure you have encountered this scenario on more than one occasion. When you are surrounded by so many other energies, personalities, opinions, and intentions, it’s hard not to stumble upon situations that seem to drain you of positive energy.
The Dalai Lama’s quote reminds us that the whirlwind of emotions and havoc that surrounds others does not have to penetrate our own inner state. This doesn’t mean that we should run, hide, and stay in solitude so we literally avoid contact with the entire human race. What it does mean is that we are responsible for how we manage our own thoughts and feelings. With awareness, we can notice how other’s emotional states can begin to penetrate our sense of well-being. With that awareness, we can choose to let it in or let it go.
Sometimes, by acknowledging that someone is having a “hard time,” we can hold compassion for them without wearing their emotional state on our sleeve as well. When we take a seat of compassion for someone else who is struggling, whether it be a student in our classroom, a colleague, or a family member, we can hold onto our resources to know when it is best to step in and support, or walk away. In different situations, either can be the most appropriate response.
However, when we allow ourselves to get caught up in the whirlwind of someone else’s experience, we actually create more resistance to their ability to regain a sense of calmness, begin to heal, and problem solve.
Here are a few steps for maintaining your inner peace when you are faced with challenging behaviors of others:
1: Build your awareness of what your inner peace feels like within you.
2: Build your awareness of noticing how your mind and body automatically respond when confronted with challenging behaviors of others.
3: Ask yourself if your intention is to be helpful to this person.
4: If not, walk away and carry your inner peace with you.
5: If you do, then share your inner peace. When this is done with intention, you will find that as you share it, you multiply it — within you and around you.