I've been finding myself sharing this amazingly simple tool with students this past week. So I think maybe many more people are in need. Do you find that each time someone or something acts in a way you dislike you react in a way that may cause the situation to become worse? Or if not worse, do you find that there isn't a direct way to find peace with the moment? Here is a simple phrase that you can use in those moments. "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to practice (insert elevated verb)." In this blank, verbs such as, giving, discipline, joyful effort, patience, concentration, wisdom, and compassion, would allow you to see a different perspective, and transmute/transform that karma and create a new beautiful karma.
I suppose we need to have a basic understanding of karma (action) and how these verbs are elevated and how they make a difference. It does take some contemplation, but thinking in terms of the 'butterfly effect' or 'domino effect' helps to see that each and every thought, action and word uttered ripples into your life.
Let's say someone you have had friction with asks you to do a simple something for them, but that triggers a lot of past memories and you just don't have it in your heart to be supportive of this person. It would be so easy to dive into those memories and tell yourself, "Ugh, I can't believe he has the nerve to ask me this.....I don't want to do that, why should I help him?...etc" This would turn into a lot of negative energies in your mind and body, and you may result in some verbal conflict with this person as well. Here would be the perfect moment to PAUSE, BREATHE, and STATE this phrase to yourself about this person and situation (it would be a bit weird to say it out loud to them!), "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to practice giving." When you say this, contemplate on how true that is. Giving is one of the most powerful ways to cultivate compassion. This is the reason monks ask for food, they are giving regular folks an opportunity to be giving, knowing that it will help to cleans their negative karmas. Giant egos have no chance here!
I recommend starting this practice by making a list of 5 or so events that bothered you this past week or month. Write them out. Then practice creating a supportive phrase for each one. Looking at one event at a time, think back to that moment and generate a phrase that would have fit that moment. Do this with each one. Having some practice with this will give you the mental grooves to recall the method and use it the next time you are faced with a challenging moment.
I'd love to know how this turns out for you. Drop me a message about how it goes!