Mrs Brown’s Boys – on “Minding Your Own Business”
“Mind your own (!) business Winnie!” Brendan OCarroll (Agnes) confronts her neighbour in the tv sitcom Mrs. Browns Boys. Down through the years in different situations and circumstances I recall hearing those words said in one context or another. Depending on the depth, anger, hurt or frustration of the person venting, those words holding a sense of fury and exasperation. During one group discussion a lady commented ” I know that one and it feels like you’re at the end of your tether”. So what happens that prods and shakes us up inside to such a degree ? When we examine in a particular way and from a mindful perspective what the initial spark is that initiates such a reaction, we discover it can be a number of things. For some “a certain tone of voice” was a trigger while others perceived it as “the insinuating way” words were used. On close investigation for another it was the perception of “a certain look” that triggered the reaction. For many participants attending the course on ‘Living A Mindful Life actually recalling what sparked off that first instance or moment of reaction was quite a revelation in itself!
So here comes an opportunity to literally ‘mind our own business’. In other words, rather than going into fight flight or freeze which is our stress response. We get the opportunity to pause and explore our reactions and there undercurrents of emotional energy. Since our nevrous system is adapted towards the stress response learning the art of minding our own business takes a good dollop of wise understanding, patience and relentless non judgement.
We are hardwired to keep ourselves ‘protected’ particularly from any uncomfortable emotion But what if you were to realize that they are expressions of yourself? Uncomfortable emotions let you know there is a problem to attend to. Perhaps a belief that is no longer true for you? Clinging to opinions or idea that keep the barriers or defensive mood up. Facades we build and cling to over time that block our ability to expand into a better place psychologically.
As we learn the skill of becoming more aware of these moments (particularly the ones we wish to avoid at all costs!) a good question to ask yourself to start with is “What’s this about”? “How is this effecting how I am right now”? Therein we gently start the journey of untangling ourselves from long held perceptions attitudes and behaviours … without judgement without critizism.
Learning the art of mindful living is a life long skill that takes great courage and compassion.
“When we strive to become better than we are everything around us becomes better too”. The Alchemist Paulo Coelho.