Years ago, when I began to read about the ancient African science of yoga and study Buddhism, there were exercises I practiced to silence my inner chatter. I remember two of these exercises specifically. One being to smile at everyone I come in contact with and the other was to give compliments. I remember being hesitant on doing these because I didn’t want to be looked at as ‘weird’ and because up until that point I felt like people needed to earn my trust or friendly demeanor. My inner chatter told me that I have to put someone through the fire to share in my happiness and I had to struggle with them on almost every emotional realm before I could enjoy them. Wow! What was I thinking?
At the time, I was working at a bank in downtown Los Angeles. On a daily basis, I came in contact with high profile persons with only a short amount of time to do business. They were usually very canalized with stern body language and no eye contact. No matter how good of a work out at the gym I had the day before or the healthy meal I cooked the night before, after eight hours of discourteous interaction, I would behave the same way. I would initiate road rage! I created stress as soon as I left the office! I would run to the elevator and stand by the control panel to be the first one out so I could beat the traffic coming out of the parking garage. When I finally calmed down in the evening to write or bring out my creative side, it was time for me to go to bed and start the madness all over again.