Me in Matera, Italy

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The calm after the riot

I'm in Vancouver on business this week coincidentally arriving the day of the 7th game of the Stanley Cup playoffs. What I really wanted to do was hide in my room but instead I decided to embrace the moment and join in on the excitement. I went about half hour before the game started, there was definite excitement in the air. Everyone stood and sang the national anthem, it was really quite touching. Hard to imagine that these will be the same people completely trashing the city in short order.

Watching the game at Canada Place with thousands of people was quite the experience. It was interesting to witness the growing frustration and gang mentality that was developing as the game progressed. Near the end of the second period, the vast majority of the crowd was shouting out "boston sucks" and buzz of the rioting to follow was already starting. Why is it that people think rioting is an acceptable response to losing a game? It is still a game after all isn't it? Immediately after the game, downtown Vancouver did not feel like a safe place to be. Part of me wanted to stick around to see chaos continue to unfold but the risk manager in me decided the wisest move would be to return to the safety of my hotel room.

This morning I woke up early and went for a walk back to Canada Place. It's a beautiful morning here in Vancouver, the sun is shining and the brisk morning air feels good as I walk and think ~ enjoying the calm after the riot. The crowds have all gone home, or to jail and peace has been thankfully restored.

I've been reading about reactive patterns in every day life. Aaron McNaught has written a book called 'Waking Up to the Heart of Care'. He says each person has their own triggers that cause us to react with distorted meaning, intense emotions and impulsive actions. An important part of opening your heart is recognizing what your triggers are and then manage your patterns with 4-steps (1) Attention = mental response of being entirely in the present moment (2) Breathe = breathe through the emotions & allow them to dissipate naturally rather than resisting them (3) Relax = physical response (4) Allow = recognize the moment just as it is, without your belief that it should be otherwise. Obviously this would take a lot of practice but I think the advice is practical and I want to try it.

In thinking about my triggers of fear, rejection and critism; they seem cliché but yet I know they are real and my reactions to these feeling can be very dramatic. Imagine there is an
alternative to the way for me to live my life. Imagine there is a healthier way of processing and managing my emotions. I'm starting to feel more optimistic about this next phase of my life. I am looking forward to continuing to enjoy the calm after the riot.

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