- Imagine someone disagreeing with you.
- Respond with, “that’s interesting,” then drop your thoughts into the time and space of mindfulness.
- Then say “I’d like to understand why you think that.”
- Listen without judgment, focusing only on understanding the other person’s perspective without judgment.
- Repeat this many, many times using different people and scenarios (repetitions should be spaced out over time). A few examples to get you started:
- An occasion when you feel that a project should move ahead while a colleague thinks that it should be tabled
- A heated discussion with your teenage son about the use of the family car
- A relaxing dinner out with your spouse at which family budget issues come under discussion
The Mastery Mindful Moment
Another opportunity to create mindful moments will occur when you are so present with intent that you are paying close attention to what is happening outside of you and you are able to live in the mindful moment both after the external event and before your initial thoughts.
This is usually a reflection of someone who has become masterfully mindful and has probably been developing mindfulness for many years.
Preventing the Limbic Loop
The essence of the limbic loop is that each time a thought goes through the limbic (emotional) part of the brain, it recruits exponentially more neurons, increasing the intensity of the emotion. It doesn’t take too many loops through the limbic system before the emotional reaction is so strong it can’t be stopped.
But what if you could keep the limbic loop from starting?
If you could, would you want to always be in control of your emotions? The only way to do this is to be mindful in between an external event and your first thoughts about it (the mastery mindful moment).
What if you could create a mindful moment between whatever event happens and how you initially think about that event? What if your time/space continuum changed from little to no space to a great time space between an external event and your thoughts and between your thoughts and your reaction and emotions?
If you can live in this mindful moment, you’ll minimize the possibility of your thoughts and emotions getting caught up in a destructive limbic loop where you think, feel, and react on automatic and your emotions become heightened to the point where you cannot control them.
How are you doing in relation to getting caught up in emotional circles? Thanks for sharing.
For questions about this post or for information on becoming a fearless leader, contact Dr. Cathy Greenberg and The Fearless Leader Group at (888) 320-1299 or by email at email@example.com.