The Benefits of Interrupting
Is interrupting always rude? Raised in Texas to have good manners, I learned never to interrupt, to be a good listener and to make a lot of space for others.
But having survived cancer and hit the half century mark, I’m starting to think differently about interrupting.
Particularly when it’s in the service of my mental, physical and emotional health.
If you are like me, it’s easy to operate on automatic pilot, attending to the same tasks, driving to the same places, cooking the same meals, distracting yourself in the same ways, listening to the same people, even thinking the same thoughts.
Do you have any thoughts that are repeated over and over? How are they serving you?
Cancer and other difficult situations can shock you right out of your everyday illusions, waking you to appreciate what you have taken for granted, challenging you to deepen your awareness of the present moment.
Difficulties and tragedies awaken your ability to more clearly see the patterns in your life and make different choices.
What are the patterns to interrupt? For example, our pattern of shallow breathing which reinforces anxiety, ruminating negative thoughts about the past or future, restricted range of movement, repressing emotions, making others comfortable at your own expense, isolating yourself, and ignoring your own intuition.
I love to teach yoga and meditation, breathwork and mantra as tools that disrupt the status quo inside of you.
These practices create a space outside your normal pattern, even if for just a moment. It is in these moments that you begin to observe your patterns. By becoming the observer, over time, you are able to choose different habits of movement, thinking and breathing. And meanwhile you are experiencing moments of greater calm and openness.
These moments have a cumulative effect and over time can strengthen and stabilize your mind and energy.
You don’t have to only behave according to the cultural customs you learned. As long as you are alive, you can try new things if you can momentarily disrupt how things have always been.