Breakfast table is always a great place to have a craic.
It has been quite a while before I sit with a group of people, people who I met for the first time, while having my meal. I think, since the past two years, you might also have the same experience here or there. Having been enjoying my daily mindful eating, and just being very happy about eating, I found it somehow challenging when I have to sit in.a group where people around you are all chatting aways when having their meals.
I do enjoy the conversation and it's a lovely doorway that you get to know someone, their little stories and the old jokes. What I found odd is to engage in the conversation while at the same time fully enjoy the food I put into my mouth. Sometimes I think it might be better and healthier to just eat our meals and then have a good craic while having our tea.
I think there is nothing wrong with chit chatting and having a craic, but I realized that most of the time our conversations are like pop corms, popping up here and there and we may not even be aware of what we are talking about!
Especially in a group conservation, it's very easy to get lost in fantasies. We may be very busy in our head and trying to find a smart answer, or be carried aways by emotions and feeling upset. I caught myself many times, right on the spot, that I responded because I wanted to show what "I" knew, instead, trying to understand what the other person wanted to share and that they wanted to be understood from their background.
How can we have a good craic and also remain mindful? It's not easy. But we can try.
I try, whenever I am aware of myself being carried away by a traumatic story or lost in mindful-less responses, I PAUSE, and BREATHE.
"Breathing in, I know I am breathing in ...
Breathing out, I aware of my body ..."
Being aware of my breath brings me back to my body. It allows me to see things more clearly, and only respond if I really feel it. By practicing not compulsively responding to a dramatic story, we are practicing understanding and holding the space for the other person. Your calm, understanding and solidarity will transform the conversation and, that's how we can inspire the people around us.