My husband and my mother have each, at different times, given me the same advice: when a co-worker says something that troubles me, let it slide off me instead of taking it to heart.
Well, I’ve been given this advice a lot, but it’s easier said than done. Then recently I realized that I couldn’t instantaneously let it slide, rather there were multiple steps I had to take to reach that goal.
And I realized for me to “let it slide” I would have to regularly meditate on my breath during the day—like every hour or more! Just as breathing takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide, and just like our body takes in nutrients and eliminates waste, so too when I breathe I can take in the good experiences and release the bad ones.
For example, I can breath in and focus on the positive aspects of my recent hour working with my fellow employees, such as the support we get from each other to take care of the classroom—working alone would be much harder! In addition, if we had recently had enriching side conversation, that is something to be grateful for as well!
Those are things I think about when I breath in.
And as I breath out, I let go of the frustration, resentment, and feeling of being misunderstood which may happen in the course of the day, since working with other people can be challenging. After all, we are all competent adults combining our knowledge and experience to provide a great product and our vision of how to do so may not always match up.
Breath in: gratitude, love, and kindness.
Breath out: frustration and resentment.
I check in with myself every hour or so throughout the day to take in the enriching elements of my experiences and release the not-so enriching parts.