Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Daniel Goleman's passage ...

Social Intelligence

On Dec 31, 2012 Ricky wrote:

In this case, the author actually could escape, and did physically, although the encounter shook him up enough to remain with him for a long while. I get to experience life from a different perspective perhaps.  This emotional economy is present every day in every class I teach, and from which I cannot physically escape to provide much needed distance from this toxicity. From my standpoint as a teacher days are filled with moments of emotional energy drain and emotional energy resurgence.  Case in point:  A student in one of the classes I teach.  I have allowed her to harass me each day she attends.  Her words remind me of the ‘mean girls’ I encountered every day of school, seventh grade through senior year, when I lived in fear of walking down the hallway, and couldn’t figure out where to sit for lunch.  Frankly most students know her, and in this class have actually given her a wide berth, which only recently I have noticed.  Much of time she is by herself in class.  However, what I have also noticed lately is that it’s not just only what she says; it is how she says it.  Each encounter each day could be different had she said it the way she imagines it came out, rather than in the tone it actually did come out.  I did talk with her once in my office after one of her outbursts, and she let out a string of pent up rage sentences about how I didn’t like her, how I pick on her, how horrible I make her feel, how my silly rules don’t make sense and what is the big deal anyway…none of this matters or is important.  I unfortunately have yet to transcend this situation, since I usually avoid self-imposed conflict at all cost, but I am fully aware this is my pattern and how she becomes my ‘teacher’ every day.  She has a stable family home, and in other areas of the school is constantly surrounded by peers.  I suspect though because her language is so emotionally charged that she may be unhappy, maybe lacking self confidence, and may not feel supported at some level, just like the security guard’s seemingly over-reaction could imply.  I don’t know.
What I have also learned is to somehow separate myself (the little s self) from identification with encounter, take a deep mindful breath at the belly, agni-the fire of life, and become aware of the inner turmoil bubbling, churning, and smoldering.  The longer belly exhale can fuel a flame that can burn this toxic rubbish up before it creates more setbacks in my life.  Desikachar speaks of this in “The Heart of Yoga”.   I rest at times in the recognition that awareness of the reaction within is the lesson to be learned this day, and the practice of igniting the ‘burn’ with awareness and breath can be enough for now.  

Reply To Comment Above:

Send me an email when a comment is added on this passage.
Name: Email: