I was traveling with a group of people to a spiritual retreat. When we settled in to our hotel for the evening there were four of us sharing a room for the night. One person fell asleep immediately and wouldn’t you know was happily snoring away. I became irritated and aggravated as I couldn’t find the ear plugs I had packed to prepare me for just this situation when one of the other people in our group commented how sweet and cute she looked while snoring away. I was astounded by my friend’s sincere attitude about our snorer! I looked over at the sleeping body in the corner of the room, trying to see this person through the lens of her eyes.
As I took in the sleeping lump and my friends giggling attitude, in that moment I shifted my own attitude. I could either ‘try’ to sleep in aggravation about the noisy snoring or surrender myself to the moment. I opened my mind to a new perspective. I had to take time and effort, to study the sleeping lump, to stop seeing her as a sleeping lump and find what was beautiful in her. To my surprise, after only a few minutes of focused attention, I found it! I began to notice the snoring was rhythmic and soothing. Was I kidding myself? A part of me still felt uncomfortably insincere, but nonetheless, with the shift in my attitude I felt my heart lighten and I climbed into bed and fell asleep.
Aggravation isn’t always easy for me to let go of. Like exercising any muscle, the more I practice, the easier it gets. I have to exercise the muscle of my conscious “right thinking” mind and then create a connecting a pathway to the heart.
The mind is a delicate instrument. Probably the most mis-understood aspect of our personality, the beliefs we replay in our head are the foundation of how we experience life. Just as science has proven that the observer affects the observed, our experience of reality is a function of our perspective. When I changed my perspective, I changed my experience of reality, and got a good nights sleep!
by Lionheart Director, Laura L. Fine