What do you do when your thinking is unclear?
How about when you don’t know what to do?
Or even more challenging, what do you do when someone makes you mad or you’re having a hard time understanding something or someone?
Answer: you try a different point of view–POV or as the saying goes, you try walking in someone else’s shoes.
Patanjali tells us in Yoga Sutra Chapter 2 Verse 33, vitarkabadhane pratipaksha bhavanam. Translation: prevent unrefined, hasty actions by looking from the other side.
So truly when we can’t think clearly, we need to sit still and think of other options. If someone pisses you off, think about why they are doing what they are doing or why it’s making you mad. I know it’s not always easy AND I definitely don’t do this perfectly. I am all for imperfect action. Do the best you can in the moment.
Even if you take a few breaths before reacting, it will make all the difference. I have heard repeatedly over the years from my college students that the most important concept I teach them is breathing, or more clearly, being aware of their breath.
If you can’t “look to the other side” then maybe you can take a deep breath or pause.
I just had a crazy thought–what if everyone did just that? What if everyone considered a variety of points of view before they made decisions?
Imagine a world where we consider planet Earth, our children, women, those who need some extra care first…I think someone else may have said this much more eloquently than I am, but you know what I’m saying.
I’m not suggesting that we accept poor behavior or getting rid of consequences. I am suggesting having an open mind and the possibility of point of view.
What else is possible?
I’d love to hear your comments below.