Day 98: Mall Mantra

by ashleighpenrod

I went to the mall this afternoon. I was already in the area and figured it would be a good opportunity to shuffle around Nordstrom Rack and get in a good dose of people-watching.

Apparently, 100 million (thousand) other people had the same idea. Twenty-five minutes into looking for a parking spot, I was absolutely determined to make it inside. I was also feeling pretty calm, all things considered. So when I finally pulled into what seemed like a promising row, I startled myself by slamming both hands on the steering wheel and screaming, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” at the Subaru taking up three parking spaces (it was actually an incredible parking job). Then, I slammed on the gas and hurtled forward through the row.

Just two hours prior to bruising my palms and yelling at an empty car, I was reflecting on my favorite, favorite mantra:

May all beings everywhere be happy and free,
and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life in some way contribute to that happiness and freedom.

It’s a beautiful concept and I think it’s especially applicable during the moments when no one’s watching. Although I was alone, I know I didn’t contribute any goodness to the world in the mall parking lot today. I could have practiced patience and I practiced intolerance instead.

In the grand scheme of things, I didn’t cause major damage by solo screaming (although, the poor bug hanging out on my dashboard didn’t seem pleased). But making peace a habit in the small moments makes it possible to spread peace on a global scale. My favorite mantra only gets accomplished one thought, word and action at a time.