Real talk. What is it like to be unhappy? And I’m not talking about being in a bad mood or having a rough few days or even months, I mean, every day to be genuinely unhappy. I ask myself this question any and every time I come across an asshole. As a matter of fact, I am currently perusing through a book titled, Asshole – A Theory, just to gain a better knowledge of these types of folks. I look at it this way, we all have the capability to be a giant a-hole. Even the nicest person you come across has an inner jerk within them. We may never see it, and that’s what makes them so freaking kind, but it’s there. Case in point, I know hands down the nicest, little old lady to ever grace the planet with her sweet little ways. I used to teach her yoga for about five years and suspected that she didn’t have a mean cell in her body because she was just so damn chipper. Well, I will have you know that one day after class she said her piece regarding some current events and I was blown away. I was like, Yes!!! I knew there was a tiny asshole in you! But then it was as if it never happened and she went back to being perfectly nice and that side of her was never seen ever again. That example of an asshole moment is not the one you have to sweat about. It’s the real unhappy, nothing but trouble, miserable turds that walk around pissed off and wreaking havoc wherever they go. Come on…you know the type I’m talking about.
I give you, Exhibit A. Before each yoga class starts I like to say hello and introduce myself to each student. Not too long ago I approached a student and said, “hi there”. You want to know what she said back to me? “OK.” No…that was actually her response accompanied with a very constipated look. “I’m sorry?”, I asked, as I was quite confused and began to feel as if I was doing something awkward. “I said, OK!” she snapped back. At this moment I started to laugh a bit to lighten the mood and told her how it’s part of my job to introduce myself and check for injuries when she snapped again and told me that no one from the studio has ever said hello to her before. Well, ummm, ok how about you stop acting like an asshole and maybe more people will say hi more often. Just a thought.
Can you imagine, for a moment, an interaction of the sort? Like, pull.the.pole.out. I know I can be an asshole too. Like I said, we all can. But I think it’s safe to say that some people go out of their way to be a huge one (….or it’s like second nature???) They just breathe it in. Where we meditate on peace, they meditate on anger. For some people, it’s their mantra, their main agenda and top priority on their to-do list to be a gigantic a-hole. Which is why I ask myself, what are the benefits of being so? What does one get out of being rude and aggressive on the daily? You see, as a yoga instructor, I ponder things like this regularly. There is actually a meditation I like to teach to help my students deal with those most difficult for them. It’s called The Love and Compassion Meditation. The idea is to think of an onion. You are the very center of the said onion. As you inhale you say to yourself: I send love and compassion. As you exhale: to myself. Then going forward you begin to go layer by layer. Naming those closest and dearest to you. Then moving more outward to coworkers, teachers, baristas, the fella next to you on the train. THEN and this is the most important part, you send love and compassion to the biggest assholes you know. Why? Because they need it. And lord knows you need it to to deal with them. It would go like this:
Inhale: I send love and compassion to:
Exhale: “name of the asshole”
Knowing this meditation and more importantly, implementing it, will have you calmer when dealing with the more difficult people in your life. You may even find it difficult to do this meditation and send certain people love and compassion. Trust me, I get it. But it’s one of those self-help tricks you can utilize to help assist you when it comes time to react and respond to the assholes in your life. Give this a go. Try it every day from anywhere between three and ten minutes. I think you will find that you are calmer, centered and better equipped. And perhaps if you are the asshole, you can give this meditation a try too.
Love it. Live it. Share it.