As I went into a room to work with one of my students today, I asked if I could help him. He yelled, "No!"
I hesitated and then said calmly, "I'm not sure why you just yelled at me. I just asked if I could help you and I didn't yell at you."
He looked at me with his head cocked to the side, "Oh," came the soft response.
And that was it. He accepted my help and thanked me twice before he left.
We hear a lot of loud voices and yelling in our world today. I didn't watch the presidential debate last night, but I heard bits and pieces of it. It wasn't the words I heard but more or less the volume of them that caught my attention.
Why do people think that louder is going to get you heard?
I think volume is both overrated and overused. It's gotten to the point where people tune it out. So, what solution do some people come up with?
Get even louder.
Uh-huh, because that has worked well to this point.
I take the opposite approach a majority of the time, because it does more to diffuse a situation than escalate it. I find that when I'm calm and use a soothing voice, my body is relaxed and the other person can sense it subconsciously.
These days I refuse to get angry for the most part. It isn't worth it, and the results are never what I set out to get. I never feel particularly positive or good even if I do get my way. For lack of a better word, I just feel "icky."
I attribute my overall progress toward a more calm and content state to three things:
1. Spending time daily with my higher power - in my case, this means God. I spend time every morning reading the New Testament, I have a daily prayer list, and I put out there whatever is on my heart no matter what time of day it is.
2. Spending time in meditation. I'm so glad that meditation is called a practice, because overall I'm not very good at it. My mind wanders a ton, but I'm getting better at bringing it back to the breath. I meditate either for 10 minutes in the morning or 10 minutes at night. Sometimes I end up doing it at both times.
3. Spending time writing in my journal. I start and end my day with it, because it's the precursor to my day and the reflection piece before I go to bed. Most of the time I write pen to paper, but sometimes it happens on my phone app or at 750words.com. It just helps to get my thoughts out in a brain dump.
Because I make an effort to incorporate these three things into each day, I can tell when I'm in a stressful situation and remain calm that it's because of my personal self-care.
The quiet voice within speaks out, and that's what gets heard.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.