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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 3 Challenge: Be Patient

waiting for the fog to lift
Yesterday's challenge was to think about, then act on the phrase "Don't Wait". After a week of concrete colored days, I seized the moment of a spectacular sunset and stared as it coursed from purple to gold to orange and back to purple.    I finished a procrastinated book review to support a brilliant poet (BUY THIS BOOK).  I did that massive load of laundry, got my blog done, reached out some, explored a little town I've been wanting to see.  That meant lots of other stuff got pushed into the WAIT pile.

Which brings up to Friday's lesson:  WAIT.  Usual rules.  Here's some suggestions; take one or many or make your own.  Sometime's it's spot-on to wait. Your job today is to practice with patience, with not-knowing.  Wait a second longer to inhale that breath.  To interject your opinion.  To serve yourself seconds.  See what starts to happen if you interrupt your impatience brigade.  Remember this is an active experiment.  Look for opportunities to try it all day.

I know some of you, and you're a smart bunch.  You aren't likely to mix up the Don't Wait opportunities with the Wait choices.  Don't wait to put out the fire.  Wait to start one.  Don't wait to encourage, show compassion, take responsibility when you need to do so.  But do wait to act out your anger-- sit with it and see if it transforms.  Wait to interject your defenses and opinions until you are sure you have heard the other side, deeply.
fog rose up, and sun spots rained down
Be slow to anger, to criticize, to judge, to get to the front of the line, to shut down that elderly person nattering in your ear at the shop.  Notice what opportunities pop up from waiting. 

Some tricks to help you wait:
calming breaths
4 regular breaths EXCEPT after you breath out, hold your breath a couple counts longer-- not til you are gasping, but until it's clearly important to get the next one in NOW.

If talking, wait for the person to finish (and that means more than they are inhaling).  Feed back what they said before you start your reply, and check for understanding.

Measure costs/benefits:  will this likely harm me/decrease my health and power/etc?  WAIT.

Say you're at the market.  You're in no hurry and the person in front of you at the express check-out has four items over the limit.  You could gripe at them, the clerk, yourself for having the bad luck to pick the line.  Or wait.  Use that time to think about what else you want to get out of your day, or to count your blessings, or practice that mountain pose, or breathe.

Life is as busy as we encourage it to be.  Reset the pace today.  Take a little time.  What can we notice when we wait a little?

Let me know:
"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
Joseph Campbell


SamsaraSadie said...

Waiting can be a gift. A second to breath. A chance to practice non-reactivity. To release all that bound up stale muscle energy in your face and neck and shoulders. I like using this when I am driving. Going to try it when talking to others though.

Jana Svoboda, LCSW said...

i patiently waded through the viral hell that my computer has become to get this written before dawnl that seemed sufficient.