Life continually hands us moments to practice patience, doesn’t it? It could be a traffic jam, the slow healing of an injury, or even the eternal waiting for a New England spring to arrive so we can feel more freedom. Or, it can be day-to-day home stuff, like me today battling my daughter about computer time, ipod time, TV time, and time spent with other electronically-driven devices.
All the while I’m hassling and getting hassled, I’m kind of in my head. First, I’m thinking about the simplicity of my own childhood. Of how much more challenging it is to parent now when competing with all these electronic bells and whistles. Then, I’m wondering how I’m going to sound remotely compelling as I’m often using these electronic things myself. And, while all that mental chatter is happening, my frustration at the situation is increasing.
If I said, use these frustrating moments as an opportunity to develop patience–well, you’d have every right to tell me to get real.
I did, however, use it as an opportunity to notice my breath. Actually, the shallowness of my breath because I was stressed. Awareness raised. So, I deepen my inhale and lengthen my exhale. And when I became boiled up again, I repeated the process. That breathing thing that yoga loves so much literally gave me a little “breathing room”. In this context, I held a broader perspective of the whole situation, of my child, of myself as a parent and as a person. I didn’t have a solution, but I had a little more space. And then I forgot and got caught up in the fight again.
Sure the breath can strengthen our vision and release tension, but only when we remember to invite it to the party. Repeatedly invite it.
Like an evite that you keep resending and resending. The RSVP is an enthusiastic YES! But, then the email gets lost. Its quite possible that the seeds of true freedom come from the discipline of reminding ourselves again and again to choose breath first, breath second and breath third. Sometimes its the simplest things that get us through the most frustrating moments.
Keep me posted!