In a story told by Sharon Salzberg, a young man participating in a new trend to incorporate meditation in schools was asked "What is mindfulness?" His response? "Mindfulness is not punching someone else in the face."
I love this. For so many reasons. His simple, honest answer is the best summary I think I've ever heard of what mindfulness promises.
He acknowledges that he's angry.
He has the mindfulness in place to recognize this and take a breath to avoid letting his subconscious override his more rational approach.
He is a master of his own emotions.
And the result? He doesn't punch the kid in the face in that heated moment.
Each of us has had these moments where we've wanted to punch a colleague or a boss, or send that angry email, or explode in a meeting. Next time you feel your blood begin to boil remember this simple lesson, and breathe. It will save you those desperate moments of trying to undo the damage after you've pressed the "send" button on that emotionally hijacked email.