We Experience What We Project or “Don’t Forget to Tell Your Face”

29 Dec

There should be 12- Step groups for Fast Food Counter Service Personnel. I’d go. Oh, ooops – that’s right, I already go, and when working the 12-Steps of recovery, we’re supposed to “practice these Principles in all our affairs.”

According to the Dalia Lama, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Very wise. He also advocates practicing Compassion and Kindness to all Beings.

That’s not always easy to remember in the middle of a slam rush when I’m the only one taking orders and there’s a line out the door of less than compassionate people.

But here’s what I know from studying Quantum Physics and other related disciplines: We create our own experience. If I am encountering hostility I have to consider “What am I putting out there,” in other words, “What am I projecting?”

I have to ask, “Am I in a service mode?” Or, “Am I looking at that line from a victim consciousness?”

Years ago when I was in theater a very wise stage manager, who was also a close friend, asked me one night how I felt about getting the Director’s notes at the end of rehearsal. I told her I was taking copious notes and taking everything in – that I was grateful for his direction and feedback.

“Well,” she said sardonically, “You need to tell your face.”

Apparently, I wasn’t looking appreciative. So rather than gratitude, I was telegraphing resistance and even resentment.

Back to that line going out the door today….

Needless to say, there were a couple of rough spots. Most of the customers were patient and understanding and then there were a few who weren’t.

“And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

When I decide to become “Cause” in my life then I can look for where my own speech, posturing, tone and performance would influence those around me to respond positively or negatively. I have to ask myself, “What is my ‘music’” – as I have heard some describe it. “What am I projecting? Is it an attitude of service – or indentured servitude?”

My spiritual mentor and Elder Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha has written:

“How do you know your message? Know yourself. Be transparent and willing to look at yourself very honestly. Know what is yours to change and do better. Truly REVIEW yourself. Truly OBSERVE yourself. Truly KNOW.” *

The language of the 12-Steps echoes this when it speaks of taking our personal inventory of habitual behavior patterns as well as our thought processes with “rigorous honesty.” The point is if we hope to have our circumstances change, we have to be the one who does the changing.

Furthermore, our happiness depends on no person, place, thing, circumstance or event outside ourselves.

“Happiness is a thought, a way of thinking. So only you can make yourself a happy person!” –Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha *

Immediately following the two failures I had during that particularly intense time at the counter today, I made a choice to treat the next customer with kindness and caring, rather than carry over any hostility I had encountered – or participated in – from the previous person. That way I was able to bring my own “tone” up and prevent falling into an abyss that would have just spiraled downward. End result: People responded favorably.

It’s amazing to me what a simple thing like a smile can accomplish when I’m looking up at a seemingly endless line and into the faces of all those people. Most of them smile back.

The great thing about taking responsibility for our lives and what we are experiencing in any given moment is that if we don’t like the way its going, we can change it in the next moment.

“What really matters to you? Where do you see the need to change? What is the next move you need to make? Remember this is the next moment of the rest of your life. How many times have you heard or said that? Well in this Moment all can change or remain the same, what is your decision…Now?” -Pa’Ris’Ha, Words of Wisdom

So that’s my lesson for today. I can disarm any tension or hostility I encounter with how I choose to perceive it. Even more important, make sure what I’m thinking and what I’m projecting are a match!

Stay focused on helping others, keep a positive mind frame – and don’t forget to tell your face! 🙂

*Excerpts from Financial Literacy Series, An Enterprise Venture ©1986-2010 Pa’Ris’Ha. All rights reserved.

©2010 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (Note: All quoted material remains the sole property of the original authors and sources.)

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