Inspiring dentists globally



– By Dr Nav Ropra.

If you have ever faced or experienced something unexpectedly that is a challenge, hostile or difficult, then that is called Encounter.


You can have an Encounter in your personal life with your partner, children or family members.  You can have an Encounter with patients, staff or your boss at work.  You can have an Encounter with an authority or regulatory body.  You can have an Encounter whilst driving a car or with a stranger walking down the road.  You can have an Encounter by post, email, or through Social Media.

We will all face an Encounter at some point in our lives and how we choose to behave as a result of that Encounter demonstrates our wisdom in life.  I have broadly described the 3 main ways that a person can behave when faced with an Encounter.  They are: React, Retaliate or Respond.


When a person is reacting to a situation, then they are not fully aware of themselves and what is going on.  It is hard to be present and aware when you are reacting as you are highly emotional and your logical mind has been overridden by feelings and emotions.  You may not be present to what you are saying and say things which you may later regret.  When you react, you are in fear, but instead of dealing with the fear, you internalise the energy.  When you do this, then the energy is used in destruction of self.  You are really hurting yourself and the other person is in charge.  You are not being the Master of your life.  This is probably the worst kind of experience of the three because you feel helpless and disempowered.  Instead of facing the challenge, you are feeling helpless and take the position of a child or a victim.

An example of this is when you have a complaint from a patient and you feel victimised by the letter.  You get others in your practice to feel sorry for you instead of seeing what you can learn from the letter as feedback and if there are any merits to what the patient has said.  In the animal kingdom, the funny example of the ostrich who buries its head in the sand whenever there is a threat or Encounter hoping that the problem will go away.  When you react, its normally because you have a deep pain which you are protecting.  Anger is the anticipation of that pain.


This is not so bad as Reacting because you are not internalising the problem and your energy is moving.  However it still is not helpful as you want to throw out the anger onto the other.  This is still disempowering as you have a temporary want to destroy the other, to control the other, and to feel righteous around the other.  Retaliating to someone or something is a subtle form of being controlled by the other.  You don’t like being out of control so instead of looking at what and how your buttons are being pressed, you want to destroy and strike the other.   An example of this is when a governing body, or someone in authority changes the way it relates with you.  Instead of having the flexibility to change yourself, you instead turn to litigation to demonstrate your rights and breach of contract to prevent the change.  Retaliation does not necessary mean physically destroying the other.  It can be holding your love, appreciation, time or energy from the other.  It may be avoiding the other or not connecting with the other in order to resolve the Encounter.  Take this example to a larger scale and you will see countries retaliating with wars and withholding goods and services by trade embargoes instead of coming to a healthy connection with each other.  People do the same thing on a small scale when they retaliate.


This is the way of the Master and you are acting as an adult.  When you respond you are acting more from higher levels of your brain and have wider time horizons so you can see the Encounter with a balanced perspective.  You have ‘responsibility’, which is the ability to respond.  A healthy response may be to apologise for your actions if you were not present to how they may have impacted the other and caused the Encounter.  Or it may be looking at your behaviour and changing it.  This can be difficult as in order for you to change so that you are satisfying the needs of those around you requires a deep love of self and a deep love for those around you.  A willingness to be flexible and to change when the circumstances require it.  You will need to make change the important factor in the response instead of who is right or who is wrong, otherwise your Encounter will never get anywhere.  You will need to respond in such a way that you are making a contribution to the other person’s life and your responsibility extends past making yourself feel ok.  It requires that you ensure that the other is ok also.

Regardless of the Encounter, when you are able to respond in this way, then you have come home to your heart.  Here there are no boundaries of you and the other.  You can see yourself in the other and how you would feel if you were treated in the same way as you treated this person, intentionally or unintentionally.  Let that be the gold standard in your life and let responsiveness be the way forwards.  You will see how your Encounters reduce and life changes when you are flexible and responsive.

If you are interested in learning how to deal with Encounters that you are facing in your practicing or personal life, then contact us to find out about our 12 month Encounter programme.

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