Two years ago, I had a lunch date with a friend, and when she arrived, she was angry. Not at me, but she was very much in an angry emotion.
Previously I might have gotten swept up in her anger, or felt alienated by it. This time was different. I found myself responding calmly even though her emotion was strong. I was calm, but also present and connected.
There was a pause between what she was saying and my reaction to what she was saying. I experienced something like a calm split-second before I needed to respond. In this space I could choose my response. I wasn’t denying my emotion, but letting it unfold separately from me.
Where did this split second of calm come from? I had only been doing a guided mindfulness meditation practice for two weeks. Could that be it?