A mindfulness approach when things go wrong

My stay in Mannar is over and I need to get back to the city of Colombo where I live. This trip has thought me much, I have come to take for granted is a luxury for people who live in this city. I have booked my train online through my communication service provider and I have to travel 90 minutes through a bus that does not have air conditioning all there is, is open windows, salty wind which brings the dust of the dry arid weather only to reach the station to be told that they are not online and therefore they have to call another station to get down my train ticket. I gasp in disbelief and for a moment I am frozen, a few kind words and the typical lost damsel act get’s the staff into action to get the ticket down for me but my struggle isn’t still over cause karma has his own plans. The station master comes back to the ticket counter to let me know that even though the ticket is here the train is delayed by 3 hours. I gasp in horror. this couldn’t be happening it’s not real and yet the mindfulness springs in to action with my two favourite questions.

Can I change the situation? Absolutely not as it a problem that cannot be fixed by me it comes from the circle of concern and nothing to do with the circle of influence.

The second question. How can I take better care of myself right now? I now need to figure out how to get out of this city to my home. So my mind springs to action and I tell myself I can do it and I will do it. even though I still don’t know how I will do it. So with a possibility attitude I spring in to action. A quick call to a friend based in Mannar reveals my best options a short tuk ride to the bus stop should get me on a cozy luxury bus to Colombo. But Karma had many more tricks up the sleeve 30 minutes later there are no luxury buses in sight. Now my next move I have to travel to next big town of Anuradhapura and ancient city rich in culture and heritage. So I jump my second non – air conditioned bus and land there only to find that the luxury bus due to leave at 2.30pm had already left and the next is due at 4.00pm. My choice is to stay almost 2 hours or I can hop another regular bus and off I am on another adventure the only comfort is an open window and the dusty wind. I would have normally blown a fuse or two and groaned and complained about how unfair life is. And yet being mindfulness is helping me enjoy the journey. I absorb the beauty, the simplicity, and the serenity of the surroundings. The opportunity to see the wild elephant injured in a the water hole and the avid discussions and the curiosity of human even though they are adults. The acceptance of my current situation has enabled me to enjoy the moments. This is the essence of mindfulness.

Living in mindfulness had enabled me to appreciate more and more the life I have been blessed with. To stop complaining and start living in the moment. It is an opportunity to embrace the comfort and the discomfort and enjoy the ride. I am an eternal optimist who sees the silver lining behind every challenging situation. Combined with the mindfulness has been able to look at as a learning adventure.

A call from home requires me to pick up my elder daughter from her lessons at 8.30pm and how I am able to manage that. But I am no quitter and I know I will find a way to get this done too, like the all the times I have had to figure myself out and as I near Colombo I realise I wasn’t going to make it on time. Now again panic can wreak havoc and instead if you are mindful things becomes clear. With a clear mind I plan my moves call the teacher inform her of my pending delay and then find the fastest root to get to the location. And with the clear mind execution of my plan is a success.

It was truly an amazing learning adventure and opportunity to be less irritated by life’s little discomforts instead to embrace life and say I am truly blessed. For all those who believe that mindfulness is sitting crossed legged meditating it is actually living in the moment and paying full and undivided attention to the moment as if our life depended upon it. Because in reality our life does depend being mindful.

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