Today while in Seattle I saw a bus full of Japanese tourists exit the bus and pour onto the sidewalk at the Pike Place Market. At one point they were all bunched together tightly while listening to instructions. I saw a perfect photo opportunity. I ran over there and asked If I could take a picture with them all. I thought it would be fun. The response was a sharp “No.”
“Oh, ok. How about later?” I said. “Maybe” he said.
I will say the quick and matter of fact way he communicated didn’t exactly feel good. But I also know that all he said was no. If I perceived him to be curt or sharp or unfriendly that was all stuff that I was adding to the experience. He was not smiling but lack of a smile doesn’t mean unfriendly or mean, or mad. In fact it doesn’t mean anything. He simply was not smiling. A good reminder that we are always adding so much to what happens to us. We are always assuming, judging, interpreting, and reacting emotionally to what is going on around us. What really happened was I made a request and the request was met with a response of no. Nothing more, nothing less. End of story. Hey I am 15% of the way done.
NOTE: I want to update you here and let you know that the rejection experiments have been going more slowly than I planned? The main reason. Really the only reason is that I experience so much darn discomfort with the thought of actually doing them! I am really coming up against myself. Really having to act despite my desire to stay safe and comfortable. As I mentioned, this stuff runs deep. I am still up for the challenge but wanted provide a reality check. It really is not easy…at least at this point.