I think if I were a mindfulness teacher, that is the first thing I would teach.
This was my homework for the year (aka my New Year’s resolution, you could say). Cultivate patience. I realized from the get go though that I am definitely not a patient person. Some memorable instances I noticed these past months:
- Pressing the elevator buttons more than once, as if it will make the elevator come any faster
- Getting antsy when my computer doesn’t boot up fast enough in the morning
- I interrupt people mid-sentence. Ugh. I hate this particular one. So very rude of me.
These little tidbits made me realize that I definitely need to work on this virtue.
I honed on to the act of impatience that really resonated with me–interrupting people. Makes me cringe just thinking about it.
So these past months, I resolved to not interrupt anyone. Let them finish their thought and respond at the right moment.
As part of this journey, I eventually noticed that my bad habit of interrupting generally revolved with either of these two thoughts:
- “Why are you talking so slow?! Can you hurry it up? Talk faster? I’m so busy! I don’t have all day, you know. Gosh.” This is generally accompanied by creasing of my brows and my shoulders tensing up.
- I already have a preconceived idea and cannot wait to tell the person. It’s like “I HAVE TO TELL YOU NOW! NOW! NOW!!”
So, like a little grasshopper, I can’t seem to stand still. I’m jumping all around…jump, jump, jump!
I tried different ways of ceasing my fidgeting. Taking deeper breaths (this didn’t work out well since it seemed to always come out as sighs), blinking a few times (this usually made the other person uncomfortable), or doing little unnoticeable movements (moving my toes, crossing, uncrossing my legs). Then one day, I actually thought, ” What is your hurry, Debbie? YOU are always in a hurry!”.
This made me pause. “Yeah, WHY do I always feel so rushed, so much in a hurry?” Hmmm, interesting. I am not sure–definitely something to think about.
Anyway, after this eureka moment, I don’t interrupt anymore. Oh, ok. I may slip once or twice but recently, I have been a very patient person. I realize too that it makes me feel better since the other person actually feels that I am listening….and I am.
So, patience little grasshopper…there is really no reason to hurry, is there?