One of the DBT skills in the mindfulness module is taking a ‘non-judgmental’ stance. I acknowledge that I can be very judgmental and normally in a critical way. I think I do it, to make myself feel better, I also think I do it, because on lots of things I have strong opinions and like nearly all of us, I usually think that my way is the best way!
I read this story a long time ago, (pre-DBT) and at the time I remember thinking it was a beautiful way to be- and this week I lived it! First, the tale!
“There once was a young man named Nasreddin who planted a flower garden.
But when the flowers came up so did a great crop of dandelions among
them. Wishing to eliminate the unwanted guests, Nasreddin consulted
with gardeners near and far, but none of their solutions worked.
Finally, the young man traveled to the palace of the sheik to seek the
wisdom of the royal gardener himself. But unfortunately, he had already
tried all the methods the royal gardener recommended to him.
Silently they sat together for a good long time. At last, the royal
gardener looked at Nasreddin and said: “Well, then, the only thing I can
suggest is that you learn to love them.”
Traditional Sufi Story (cited from http://www.inspirationpeak.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?record=13) (bold font mine)
What a beautiful thing. Being at peace and resting in what is reality.
This week while at the Olympic rehearsals I had the opportunity to put it into practise!
I am drumming in the opening ceremony- along with 999 other drummers! It is noisy- at times overwhelmingly so… and in the ‘breaks’ for some reason, even though we’ve been asked not to… some people want to carry on jamming (normally the male species). And the noise is terrible, as in these moments we have potentially 300 or so independent rhythms going on. I have been finding it really challenging. I know I’m not alone, one of the other drummers- shouted out really loudly for everyone to shut up… which received a massive round of applause, but to no avail, as the jamming continued.
After 10 hours rehearsing on Wednesday evening, I thought I could take it no more. We were in a confined space and the noise was reverberating off the walls. And then I remembered… I remembered the dandelions. And I acted non-judgmentally, they were doing what they were doing, and I decided to love the dandelions or in this case rogue drum jammers! And it transformed the moment. I didn’t join in, but I did decide to release judgement and I enjoyed the sounds. I participated. It was great- so much nicer than being critical.
Dandelions or drummers… doesn’t really matter…. but I changed in that moment. Hurrah!
Thanks for listening.