One technique to practice calm in conflict is to imagine a small fountain pool, like a bird bath, in the center of your stomach. Imagine yourself at peace and the waters in your inner-pool are calm and reflecting the world around you clearly. As you become upset, ripples begin appearing on the surface and little drops stream over the edge. The reflection, which represents your understanding, becomes less defined and somewhat distorted. As you grow in anger, fear, dread or nervousness the water begins slopping over the sides onto the floor. Your understanding is completely distorted and the more you try to control it, the more you seem to lose control. When you are facing conflict try to keep the surface of your inner-pool of emotions calm and steady. Your inner-calm is your safe haven in moments of challenge. Look upon the troubled waters of the other person, and simply have understanding — nothing more. In your serenity there is a clarity, strength and correctness that is beyond the petty scuffles of the moment — a greater truth — it is the truth of who you are; beautiful, calm, secure, open, willing and safe. Try to avoid allowing your adversary's conflict-energy to bump into your energy; remain separate and unentangled. See the moment for what it is — a test and an opportunity to practice being a good communicator and to further refine yourself. Much of life is merely a practice. When you begin looking at each challenge as practice you shift from being a reactive victim of circumstance to a victor in a rehearsal of opportunity. Every small run-through is preparing you for tougher challenges. Start practicing today and you will become stronger and more confident through each moment of challenge.
— Bryant McGill
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