An Excerpt from Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

In his classic book on mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn also writes about teachers.

"I hate finding caked cat dishes in the kitchen sink along with ours. I'm not sure why this pushes my buttons so strongly, but it does. . . . I have taken to experimenting with my reactions at the kitchen sink by watching them very closely without acting on them. I can report that the initial feeling of revulsion is not all that bad, and if I stay with it, breathe with it, and permit myself to just feel it, it actually goes away within a second or two. I have also noticed that it is the sense of betrayal, of being thwarted in my wishes, that makes me mad much more than the cat food itself. So, I discover, it's not really the cat food by itself that is the source of my anger. It's that I'm not feeling listened to and respected. Very different from the cat food. Aha! . . .

"So I've stopped taking it personally. When I really don't want cat food in the sink, I roll up my sleeves and I clean the dishes in that moment. Otherwise, I just leave them there and go away. We no longer have fights about it. In fact, I find myself smiling now when I do come across the offending objects in the sink. After all, they have taught me a lot.