Before diving in on my mindful “win” yesterday, I need to reiterate something I’ve written before. I’m not a guru or a high spiritual being. I’m like most of you reading this article: Someone trying to make his way along the spiritual path.

Why is it important to let you know that? That comes later.

But let’s get to what happened yesterday. My wife, who works from home, left at around noon for a work lunch. She said she’d be back around four.

The $26 Acai excursion

My 13-year-old daughter got home from school around 3:45 and was starving. So I took her to get something called an Acai bowl, which is a fruity something or other. And hugely expensive at $16! But whatever. She’s a great kid. Works hard in school and is a wonderful girl.

She’d paid with my credit card online. So when we got there, she grabbed the bag and we headed back to the car. But on the way I got a look at the receipt. It was $26! She’d added a vegan cookie and some add-ons to her bowl.

I wasn’t happy about this. But this isn’t the mindful episode of the article.

Taking my teen to tennis

Because an hour and a half later while I was writing away, mom was still not home. It was 5:20 and my daughter needed to be at tennis at 5:30, something my wife usually does. My daughter peeped her head into my office. “Dad. I need to go.”

I’d texted my wife but heard nothing back. So off we went to tennis drop off; still no blow up. But still, we’re not at the mindful victory.

That came when I got home from dropping off at tennis. As I fired up the engines to get working again, my wife finally responded to my text… “I’m stuck here. Can you pick up Violet?”

Strike 3: Picking up Vi

Violet is my 7-year-old who was at her after school Boys and Girls Club program. My wife was going to pick her up from that, too.

So there I was. The third strike had hit. I felt a knot of anger. But that faded. Quickly.

I relaxed, and then said to myself, “It does you no good to get all pissed off about this. You have to pick her up anyway, so go do it.” So I got up and picked up my little one.

Dousing the fuse

The key was nipping it in the bud. As I wrote about last week (link here), my fuse is getting longer. And in this case, I was able to wet my fingers, put out the fuse and stop the bomb from detonating.

Which is what I used to do. Not a crazy blow up or anything. I would just get pissy with my wife about being late and not doing what she said she’d do which, I’ll confess, sounds jerky as I write this.

When she walked in last night around 6:30 I was fine. Why be a jerk? It doesn’t do me, her or our family any good. She got held up dealing with a work matter.

Setting the intention is key

To what do I attribute this mindful “victory?” Mainly, it’s the result of my making it a point to work on this stuff. I’ve set the intention. And that, in conjunction with lots of meditation, is paying off.

You might think I’m making a big deal out of this little vignette. And I am. Because it is a big deal. Sure, it’s only one small mindful victory for yours truly, but when we add these up, they become life-altering.

Letting go is what I did

Because the truth is, when I calmed down and didn’t blow up, I was letting go of an egoic packet of energy stuck in my lower self. And as I have written many times, letting go of this stuff is the most important work of our lives. And the most valuable to our well-being.

As for the origin of this trigger, I have a good guess. My mom was awesome, but she was pathologically late. Picking me up to go to the dentist. Picking me up from practice. You name it, she was late. And it really got to me.

My guess is that sensitive me took this as, “You don’t love me enough to be on time.” Which of course wasn’t true, but that’s how I took it. Then when my wife is late…You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to make the connection here.

How this affects you

So what does any of this have to do with you? Why is this mundane story about my wife being late of any use to anybody?

This brings us full circle to the first paragraph. Because here’s the bottom line: If I can do this mindful work, so can you.

From a practical standpoint, what can you do? See if you can identify some areas that trigger you. For me it was my wife being late.

What are they for you? When your boss belittles you? When your husband ignores you? When your friend brags about her job constantly? Try and come up with at least two or three.

Set the intention then be on the lookout

Then what? Then set the intention that you’re going to be on the lookout for these situations. And when they arise, you’re going to do your level-best to calm down, take some deep breaths and let go.

When you do this you’ll reap the double rewards of 1. Not blowing up and feeling awful; and 2. The biggest reward of all: Getting rid of the egoic gunk that prevents you from accessing the real, true, conscious, beautiful you.