Slap

Image courtesy of photopin.com and linked to originating site

Are you so focused on what is important to you that you are unaware of how your experience is affecting others?

As a healer, I am someone who stands in witness of another’s story. I listen to the words they speak, their energy, and their body as they tell the story of their life. As a mother, I committed to listening to my daughter before she was even born. When she is tired, she rambles maniacally, as though she cannot control her mouth and when she is rambling on like that, my brain nearly explodes as I try to keep up with all her words.

I have also come to understand that, when I am working, I love to have music on and, pretty much, any music is better than talking for me, even if it has lyrics. There is something about the harmony, melody, and singing in accompaniment with the musical instruments that is soothing to my brain. But, if there is talking – whether it’s a commercial or commentary, which is why I love to stream my music through avenues that have no vocal commercials – my brain gets distracted because someone is talking.

The other day I was working and attempting to focus on what I was writing. My dad turned on his stereo to the public radio station he adores. Usually, they play classical music, but in that moment they were in a commentary. Immediately, I was distracted and couldn’t focus on my work. I had no idea what they were talking about. I just knew they were talking.

I walked into the room where he stood by the stereo while the voices filled the whole house. Thinking that he wanted to listen to his classical music, which I like, I asked if we could listen to something that didn’t have talking and was going to suggest that we turn on the classical station through our cable network.

Before I could offer the suggestion, he interrupted and said, “But, this is interesting.”

“So, that is a ‘no,’ then,” I said, and left the room, feeling frustrated. Within moments, I gathered the gist of the commentary’s message – genealogy. His passion. I then understood his focus was solely on what was happening in his world.

As I went about trying to get comfortable and get the music pumping through my headset loud enough to block the sound of the talking without busting my eardrums, I was reminded of an incident just a few days earlier where I was focused on what was happening in my world and being oblivious to those around me…

I needed information immediately from one of the girls behind the counter of the store where I do transformational readings. There was a long line and I didn’t have time to wait, so I made a straight beeline for the one who was working on a display, rather than waiting on customers.

I leaned over the glass encasement and quietly started to ask my question, “Do you know…”

My presence startled her out of her focus and she gasped, literally jumping back and kindly said, “Girl! You’re right in my face.”

Her announcement slapped my face and woke me up to how I had been disregarding her experience while I was solely focused on my own. I was so startled by her announcement and, instantly, I realized I had actually not been present in the moment because I had been in my head planning what I was going to say to her. I had been solely focused on my needs as I approached her.

Later that day, after my last client left and because it was really eating me up inside, I found her and apologized for being disrespectful to her experience. The last thing I wanted was for anyone to feel disregarded in my presence because I had been too intently focused on “MINE!”

When we become singularly focused on what is “best for me,” – whether it is in relationships, life, healing, or business – it can become detrimental. Those around us experience our singular focus as being dismissive and, sometimes, even disrespectful of their experience. While it is not our responsibility to monitor everyone’s experience or to make sure that everyone else is doing okay, at the expense of ourselves, it is our responsibility to open our eyes to see the ripples we are sending out and how that is affecting our loved ones, our energy, and our business. It is our responsibility to be present to the moment, listening for understanding rather than to reply, and to be observant of the world around us so that we can arrive at our destination without creating ripples of pain.

© Angie K. Millgate 08/29/13

photo credit: Vermin Inc via photopincc

The above post is my current Meditation of the Week. If you’re interested in signing up for this, you can do so to the right in the “In-Box Inspiration” box.

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I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
Feel free to jot down what you’re thinking in the comment box below.

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14 Responses to Slap Your Face!

  1. I think we can all relate to this from all sides. My youngest daughter invades my space all the time with her music – she insists on bringing it into my kitchen when I’m making dinner and she is doing some chores. I like silence! I know I have done it to others though. I’m human but it’s good to be aware of peoples personal space.

  2. julie says:

    ooh I love this Angie! I can hear your voice loud and clear! It reminded me of when I was in LA last year, trying to make a connection to fly back to Australia, and I was really pressed for time and I was actually leaning into the next person in the cue at security, and she turned around and said ‘do you mind’! I didn’t even realise I was doing it :) I explained myself, she was then fully supportive, but I was so intent on me getting on that plane, I crossed someone else’s boundaries, so I fully relate! Lovely post, really enjoyed it! Thank you! J

    • Angie K. Millgate says:

      Julie, I am so appreciating you for sharing your experience here! Such a great example of exactly what I was talking about. Thank you.

  3. mimi says:

    This is a really good reminder. I feel like I am so present when I am with a client but when I go out into the world I sometimes forget! :) mimi

  4. It’s so easy to forget that others’ needs are as important to them as ours are to us. I relate to your experience with your dad from the other direction – I also like talk on the radio. II praise the efficacy of earplugs! That way I can listen to what I want to and my husband can listen to his preferences. Your frustration in the moment with your dad is the same thing I experience when someone sets a boundary I don’t like, even a gentle one!

    • Angie K. Millgate says:

      Judy… I do so love my earbuds. I have them in nearly constantly here and on some days, my eardrums just wanna breathe! LOL

  5. That is a great story with a powerful message, thank you!

  6. Good wake up call for all of us. The experience you shared with us (of being in the store clerk’s face) says it all. We’ve all done it.

  7. Kate Lindsay says:

    Point well made. I like the way you described our actions as creating the the ripples that we are sending out. I am a super visual person and that really worked for me.

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