“I don’t mind what happens.” These are the often quoted words of Jiddu Krishnamurti, an enlightened spiritual teacher. I have heard different forms of the meanings behind these words over the years. Krishnamurti passed from this life in the mid 1980’s. Oddly, these words came up for us in a recent practice session I attended for Facilitators. I have been using these words as a mantra in the past couple of weeks. I speak them out loud, and it often dissipates the charged energy I feel over something where I DO mind what happens!
The phrase “I don’t mind what happens” is actually a practice of mindfulness. It helps me to stay in the present, not attaching myself to the outcome of any situation. It helps so that I do not mentally and emotionally feed a problematic situation, or ruminate. It means to be in alignment with what IS, and not to be in any resistance. It means to let go, or just let things be as they are. It means to BE, not necessarily take some form of action. Other phrases commonly used on this topic are: “What happens, happens, and it is, what it is.” This is a mindfulness practice. I say practice, because staying present, being in my body and not joining the monkeys in the circus of my mind is not always easy. “I don’t mind” is about being neutral and objective. Content with what is. It is about remembering the inner space of peace inside me. It is letting difficult situations be at rest. External circumstances often have a way of working themselves out. It is about having a quiet spirit, and being a soul instead of a busy body, meddling in a situation that may not be any of my business.
Taking responsibility and manipulation of external events that I have no control over is considered a form of insanity. I have replayed scenarios over and over in my head, at times feeding fear, worry and anxiety. The opposite of that is creating fantasy situations, to help myself feel better. In either case, driving myself crazy is a short trip! I can’t control others, or circumstances. I can only control how I respond internally to these situations. I can return to mindfulness and maintain my inner peace.
I was taught in Grad school, that those who try to control everyone and everything in their outer environment are out of control in their inner environment. They try to manipulate circumstances so that they feel better about themselves. This shift of blame to others often leads to feeling victimized. Clients can get upset with me when I talk to them about taking personal responsibility for their inner environment. There is a big difference between enabling and empowering clients. It seems very difficult at times to move clients out of poor coping skills that have become habitual. I am reminded to accept or not resist or label clients. Life is a good teacher of lessons. The out-workings of Spirit are much greater than any impact my words might have. When the light does come on for someone, it could be in the now, the days or weeks to come or many years from now or even the next lifetime. I can ask, “What is the life lesson here?” Clients need to feel into this with presence, not with monkey minds. Many do not believe in a next lifetime, but playing with this exercise, most do not want to have to come back again to work on it! They want relief now.
I also remind myself “not to mind” what happens ultimately, because I can’t control it. Change is inevitable, and can happen without notice and in the moment. Transformational Coach Alan Seale says that if you change the way you show up in any given situation, it changes the energy around that situation. I have coached clients in difficult situations that did not know how to show up differently to stop showing up all together. (translation: take a break, take a step back or a time out)! I once had a client that continually got in shouting matches with her mother on the phone. A simple, temporary solution was hang up- or stop calling until things could be addressed differently. Old habits can be hard to break. It is better to stop showing up than continue in dysfunctional cycles. Putting the brakes on can actually create space for something else better to show up or to come in. However, as Melisa Pierce of Touched by a Horse says, “don’t tell anyone to quit their job!” Suggesting or exploring options is probably better.
Truthfully, I often DO mind what happens. It causes me pain when people are stuck, suffering and unhappy. So when I say “I don’t mind what happens, it does not mean that I don’t care. I care deeply, I hope for the best and highest outcome, but I also know I can’t control that. It is not up to me. It is that person’s life journey, and the choices that they make belong to them, as do mine. Those words “I don’t mind what happens,” also remind me not to place a judgment. I actually placed a judgment on myself over this post, because it is not as inspirational as my usual posts. But it is honest, where I am at in the moment, so I decided to be ok with it. I need to be in alignment and not resist what IS. Only then can I return to my place of inner peace, in this moment. Saying out loud, “I don’t mind what happens,” is like taking a deep cleansing breath and releasing a sigh of relief. It is a reminder to return to my center, and my inner being. The words in that phrase have a releasing and transformative energy.
Horses as coaching partners are such wonderful examples of living in the “I don’t mind what happens” state of being. They are such good listeners, supportive and so present with clients. Horses are very sensitive to energy shifts and know instinctively when clients get it. When the clients get it, the horses often walk off indicating the session is over. I have one horse that gently nudges at people who get it, but linger in moving on with it. He reminds them- case is closed, return to your inner peace and then directly goes to the topic of what he DOES mind happens in his inner being. What’s for dinner?