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Defusing Defensiveness

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So yesterday I spoke about the idea of letting go of right and wrong. And today I'm going to continue with that same theme, but don't worry if you didn't catch yesterday's Daily Mindfulness, you can totally pick up here today. So I think most of us would agree with this statement that being happy is more important than being right. But even though we might agree with that statement, a lot of the time we hang on to our viewpoints, our beliefs, and our perceptions as if our life depended on it.

You know, even when it's a relatively minor point, like what cheese might be the best one to buy at the store, many of us will clutch on to our opinions with almost like a religious fervor. That's only the little issues. When it comes to the bigger one, things get really hairy. But the more we insist that we are right and the other is wrong, the more anger frustration we feel. You've probably experienced this, right? And the more we drive a wedge between ourselves and the other, and the more we restrict our ability to truly listen and perhaps learn something, and importantly, the more we cut ourselves off from our true nature, from being present.

So knowing that I decided a year ago to start doing my very best to let go of my attachment to being right. And it's not always easy. And I often still fail at it. It's an ongoing practice. I often still have the urge to defend my viewpoint or talk more than I listen, or to find flaws in the other person's way of seeing things or believing things.

Or sometimes I feel an urge to just dismiss their message internally and not really listen to it. So my practice, and this is something that I mentioned as a part of yesterday's Daily Mindfulness, but it really is worth repeating, my practice is noticing when all of this comes up inside of me, that defensiveness, and as best I can letting go of the need to be right again and again. And I have a simple way of doing this. So as soon as I notice myself kind of thinking they're wrong, or I'm not buying this, I have this inner defensiveness. I switch from the attitude of this kind of closed off-ness to, hmm, isn't that interesting.

So I'll say that to myself mentally, and then I become present, open and curious, and I listen. And I notice over time when I do this, how much deeper and richer my relationships become, how much more relaxed and at ease I feel when others are sharing all kinds of viewpoints and how present I can be with them. Now I also notice how much more I've been able to learn and grow when I let go of my own viewpoints. And I really listen with openness and curiosity. So if this resonates with you, if you're curious about it, I invite you to try out this really simple practice.

The next time you feel defensive or holding onto your idea of being right. Just try mentally saying to yourself, hmm, isn't that interesting. And then just kind of lean into what's there to be heard. I think you'll find this practice has the power to diffuse tension and anger and create more connection and joy in your relationships and in your life. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

Defusing Defensiveness

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So yesterday I spoke about the idea of letting go of right and wrong. And today I'm going to continue with that same theme, but don't worry if you didn't catch yesterday's Daily Mindfulness, you can totally pick up here today. So I think most of us would agree with this statement that being happy is more important than being right. But even though we might agree with that statement, a lot of the time we hang on to our viewpoints, our beliefs, and our perceptions as if our life depended on it.

You know, even when it's a relatively minor point, like what cheese might be the best one to buy at the store, many of us will clutch on to our opinions with almost like a religious fervor. That's only the little issues. When it comes to the bigger one, things get really hairy. But the more we insist that we are right and the other is wrong, the more anger frustration we feel. You've probably experienced this, right? And the more we drive a wedge between ourselves and the other, and the more we restrict our ability to truly listen and perhaps learn something, and importantly, the more we cut ourselves off from our true nature, from being present.

So knowing that I decided a year ago to start doing my very best to let go of my attachment to being right. And it's not always easy. And I often still fail at it. It's an ongoing practice. I often still have the urge to defend my viewpoint or talk more than I listen, or to find flaws in the other person's way of seeing things or believing things.

Or sometimes I feel an urge to just dismiss their message internally and not really listen to it. So my practice, and this is something that I mentioned as a part of yesterday's Daily Mindfulness, but it really is worth repeating, my practice is noticing when all of this comes up inside of me, that defensiveness, and as best I can letting go of the need to be right again and again. And I have a simple way of doing this. So as soon as I notice myself kind of thinking they're wrong, or I'm not buying this, I have this inner defensiveness. I switch from the attitude of this kind of closed off-ness to, hmm, isn't that interesting.

So I'll say that to myself mentally, and then I become present, open and curious, and I listen. And I notice over time when I do this, how much deeper and richer my relationships become, how much more relaxed and at ease I feel when others are sharing all kinds of viewpoints and how present I can be with them. Now I also notice how much more I've been able to learn and grow when I let go of my own viewpoints. And I really listen with openness and curiosity. So if this resonates with you, if you're curious about it, I invite you to try out this really simple practice.

The next time you feel defensive or holding onto your idea of being right. Just try mentally saying to yourself, hmm, isn't that interesting. And then just kind of lean into what's there to be heard. I think you'll find this practice has the power to diffuse tension and anger and create more connection and joy in your relationships and in your life. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

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