I’ve been having technology challenges lately. Nothing tries my patience more than computers and gadgets not working as they ‘should’. I’ve been aware of my patience being tested so want to write about patience as a spiritual practice.
I love the video clip of the comedian who talks about “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy”. Check it out on YouTube some time. It definitely helps put things into perspective. Or as Richard Carlson reminded us – “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff- It’s all Small Stuff.”
I know that the things I get impatient with are there to help me learn patience. It’s taken me a while to understand this spiritual lesson. Luckily I’ve seen that it’s better to appreciate, or even bless, those people and situations causing my delays rather than cursing them or getting stressed about them. Remember this if you are traveling this holiday season or attending a family function and you’d rather be some place else.
If patience is a spiritual lesson you feel you need to learn, see if you can practice some of the following ideas in the next few weeks. I’ve noticed that people’s patience tends to get even thinner during the holiday season.
First step….. Breathe deeply. Bring your awareness to your breath and focus on that. Put your mind and attention on your own body and breathe into any parts that are getting tense. Know that you can reduce your stress level simply by breathing deeply and evenly.
Second step… Relax your body. You won’t do yourself or anyone else any favors if you are stressed and angry. Having a relaxed body is helpful for clearing your mind of anger or frustration. If you are really worked up, move your shoulders and neck (or anywhere you may carry tension). Relax your jaw and stretch your face to relax your brow.
Third step… Mentally step into Expansiveness. You are not trapped in this moment. You are part of a vast ocean of possibilities. Once you recognize this, you’ll see many options available. Affirm that you will be able to accomplish your tasks with easefulness and effortlessness. Feel your body and your mind open up to infinite possibilities in the moment. Anything can happen, so stay alert to how you can shift the energy of the situation.
Fourth Step…. Remain conscious that your thoughts now in the present moment shape the next moment that unfolds. As you breathe deeply and affirm expansiveness, you become more expansive. Now you enter into a new moment aware that the Universe is unlimited. You can choose to allow joy, peace, patience and beauty to come to you. See what happens next when you hold these thoughts.
Fifth Step… Remember it’s all small stuff. I have a very mellow cat. I call him the Buddha Buddy. When I get really worked up, I can sometimes remember to ask myself – ‘would the Buddha Buddy care about this?’ Usually not. If Buddha Buddy wouldn’t care, it’s probably small stuff.
For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.
Linda is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. Go to her website www.lindajferguson.com to read more about her work, view video clips of her talks, and find out more about her book “Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work” available on Amazon.