We are still masterminding this week about how we can use Fear, Hurt Feelings, Anger, Guilt and/or Unworthiness to expand our comfort zone. As I pondered my past experiences where these feelings have arisen, I quickly realized there was usually another person, or persons, involved. For example, I had feared a confrontation with someone over a situation at work; someone had hurt my feelings and I (unfortunately) responded in kind by hurting them back; I have felt anger at someone, or groups of people (which, of course, I justified), and then felt guilt; and I’ve experienced bouts of unworthiness comparing myself to someone else. You get the idea. These feelings rarely, if ever, manifest in isolation.
Recently I read about a practice developed by Chade-Meng Tan that he calls “Loving-Kindness.” Tan was a pioneer at Google and while there created a ground-breaking, mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course for Google employees. Tan’s loving-kindness practice is a very simple, 10 second exercise. In the course of your day, identify two people and just silently think “I wish for this person to be happy.” That’s it.
Then I thought, what if when these feelings of fear, anger, hurt feelings, guilt or unworthiness arise, I use it as a trigger to employ the practice of loving-kindness? I’ll identify the person (sometimes including myself) that is embroiled in the negative emotion and silently say “I wish for this person to be happy.” Doing this will invoke the Law of Compensation and allow healing and harmony to occur. Also, when I wish happiness on myself and others, I have massively increased my capacity to be more accepting, more forgiving and less judgmental of others — and that will push the comfort zone out to new horizons!