No matter many times I tried to will other people to move faster and get out of my way so I could get on with my busy day, it never worked. Even my most powerful willing failed over and over again. Instead, I just got frustrated. I was annoyed with the slow drivers, the people who wanted to write a check at the grocery store, co-workers who weren’t prepared at meetings, and the list goes on and on. Why couldn’t everyone move at my pace?
My hurry melted into patience one December afternoon at the post office. There was a big line, only one person working, and a woman in front of me who decided to take her time picking out the perfect stamp. I made an audio recording of what happened. Click here to listen. (If the audio doesn’t play, please try opening it in a different browser.)
I still lose my patience from time to time, but I come back to it more quickly when I remember standing in line at the post office and with these practices that encourage me to be patient.
By starting my day with meditation, writing, and movement, I can use those moments of stillness and inspiration throughout the day. I can choose to under-react in the hustle and bustle instead of getting frustrated.
It sounds so simple, but sometimes when we are rushing or frustrated because no one else is rushing, we forget to breathe. Turning your attention to breathing in and out can quickly bring you back to patience. For extra help with patience, take a big breath in through your nose, and then let it all out through your mouth with a big sigh. Learning to Breathe, Author Priscilla Warner says that SIGH is an acronym for Sitting in God’s Hands. When patience is fleeting, sit in God’s hands.
Adopting the pace of nature
By taking walks, hiking, and watching the sunrise, I remember that the most beautiful, magical things in life go at their own pace.
Aside from slowing the pace of my own life and boycotting busyness, what helps me most when it comes to being patient is thinking of people as people. When someone is taking too long to pick out stamps, she isn’t someone out to get me, or ruin my day. She’s a broken-hearted woman who lost her husband, picking out the perfect stamps to thank people who attended his funeral.
All year, but especially now when things might be a little more hectic, let go of the hurry and frustration. Be patient and kind. We are all in this together.