Officer, Keep Your Eyes Wide Shut?

Written by Billy O’Brien

There was an article in the NY POST discussing a new “retraining” program where they ask officers to “take a step back, close your eyes and take a deep breath”, when dealing with hostile or ‘heated’ confrontations, see:

Granted this is only in NYC, but it revealed something very interesting. While this approach may be a good alternative way to deal with potentially toxic situations, and this seems to be a step in the right direction, it’s still on a dangerous path. If an officer is in a potentially aggravated situation, asking them to eliminate their sight seems a bit illogical. Even though, this may be over dramatic, in the sense that they are really just telling the police to chill out and take a deep breath, the media spun it into something that lent itself to being a bit more controversial and dangerous. While we can see both sides fairly clear, we believe there is a better solution…

Perhaps something along the lines of a daily prayer, or meditation should be required. Instead of asking for someone to try and  ‘meditate’ for a moment during a tense situation, why not ask them to do this first thing in the morning, so they can avoid losing control if/when a situation occurs? We should all practice mindfulness/meditation, but for people whose job is to protect and serve their community, it should be a requirement.

The advantage of a daily meditation would ground the individual, and allow them to approach their day in a more positive light. Yoga, meditation, prayer, etc. are all practices that help ground and balance the individual. The idea of controlling your breathing in the morning, will help control emotions.

We need to accept that we can’t control other people, or situations. We can only control ourselves and how we act. I believe there is a problem with people who try to control others and their environment, by finding discord in trying to attain the unattainable. Police are given a tough job, and unfortunately humanity is pretty in-humane these days. However, if you believe that you attract the energy you put out, then it makes sense why officers are often met with hostility. It’s because it seems that current energy of many police officers is to continuously approach with hostility. Imagine if an officer approached a negative situation positively, do you think it would affect the outcome? Especially if the officer controlled his attitude, tone, and intention.


It’s a matter of keeping a poker face when playing with the book of life. Control yourself, your emotions, and your intentions, and you will get further than those who don’t. This is something we should all be doing, but most of us choose not to. We live in a society that is so caught up in linear time, ego, apathy…and it’s brought us to a point where we’ve lost touch with ourselves and our environment. We feel more comfortable staring into a digital vortex, and not into each other’s eyes.

You can see it now, where people have such an issue with making eye contact. It’s not because they are a bad person, it’s because they haven’t grounded themselves. They are off balance, and insecure because of it, and unfortunately because of the insecurity, we feel a damaged ego and instead choose to ignore the problem because it’s easier than confronting it.

A simple solution is starting your day quietly. Think of everything you love, be thankful for everything you have, and all of the negative situations that became lessons, and positive situations that are making you happy. Sit in that feeling, and concentrate on feeling gratitude. Allow yourself to slowly quiet your mind, and just experience that feeling. After moments of repeating whatever mantra you choose, open your eyes and start your day.

Don’t try and ask God for anything, because unfortunately there is not some guy in the sky asking you to thank him, and beg for forgiveness. You need to be one with yourself…thank yourself, and thank others who’ve helped you. Ask yourself what you want, and understand who you are. It’s all about YOU, and the rest is up to you. You reap what you sow, so if you want to barrel through your day with fear and intensity, you will only be met with more. If you want to be happy, and thankful, you will get that in return. It’s that easy, don’t try and f*ck it up by making it a religious thing, because it isn’t. This is the only gift you can give yourself, and you cheat yourself each day when you don’t ask for it.

That’s it. It’s easy. It doesn’t involve other people, and it’s free. You can do it anywhere. And yet, we still live in a society, where we choose to envelope ourselves in our phones, emails, or newspapers, TV, etc…and we wonder why we wake up off balance and filled with anxiety. It’s what you choose to fuel your day with. Do you want noise, junk marketing, violence/hatred? Or, do you want to feel the power of the only thing you can control, which is yourself, your emotions, and your intentions.

Ask your heart what you should be doing today, and don’t confuse it with what lies beneath it. Ask your heart, and then ask your mind how to attain it. The climate of our culture right now is running a high temperature, but starting with simple mindfulness and intentionally beginning your day with the correct energy – may ease the tension.

Whether you are a cop or not…instead of waiting for the tension to occur, then practice mindfulness…mind your mind, always and let your heart guide you. Approach adversity with gentle calm, and don’t fight fire with fire. Treat others how you’d like to be treated, and until proven guilty – everyone is (at first) innocent.

Originally posted @ Evolve & Ascend


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