Khao Luang cave in Phetchaburi, Thailand

In the blink of an eye, what was up is now down, what was down is now up, and everything is now inside out and outside in.

The intensity of the thoughts and emotion seem unbearable.  Some ordinary something, or perhaps not so ordinary at all, has pricked you, oh so deeply.

This simply can’t be!  You’ve allowed that one thing to switch a sunny disposition from day to night, from clean air to foul, from free floating to tethered, and from trusting to vigilant.

The spiritual teacher, Pema Chodron, would call this a moment of “shenpa” or of having gotten hooked.

With this hook, there is an accompanying urge deep within you to do something to make it feel better:  to lash out, to cry, to run, to fight, to hide, to soothe, to scratch the itch, to eat, to drink, to numb out.  You want to do anything but sit and experience the discomfort of the moment.

In mindfulness, you learn to simply experience the moment with curiosity and self-compassion.

Remaining mindful, instead of reactive, allows room for a new experience to emerge.  It requires both a stepping back from and a fully sitting with the part of the ego that has gotten pricked.  This is how you grow and change, and it requires a courageous presence.

You will gain clarity in the moments of the “action” of just being and sitting with the discomfort.  In this place you learn who you truly are.  Here is where you transcend the limits of ego and let go of the story in your head.  In doing so you can will eventually transform the negativity to something different from which you can now learn and grow.

These mindful moments of sitting with shenpa can teach you valuable lessons in leadership.  You must simply stop and remain courageously present.