I feel such gratitude for my spiritual practice rooted in mindfulness. If not for this support, I may have lost my mind a long time ago. Modern living can be quite stressful which is why it's so vital to take care of our health, our happiness quotient, our overall wellness. All it takes it subtle shifts in mindset, self-love with a focus on self-care and our world can dramatically change. This is not an easy feat. I work with creatives and changemakers to transform perspectives in life & get out of the funk, which then open up doors and opens up hearts leading to dramatic positive change in love and work. Personally, I just had a puppy inspire a radical mindset shift. I would never imagine that mindfulness would help me connect to my new puppy.
It all happened when one morning, nearing our daughter's 10th Birthday, my husband said...”I think it's time we get a puppy for Ruby.” I agreed. I can't believe those words came out of my mouth. I have been saying NO to the begging for over four years. It didn't make sense for a thousand reasons. Now, I am not a dog person. Never was. All you dog lovers can debate me forever, but I'm just one of those cat ladies. If I wasn't married with a child, I could potentially be one of those ladies with too many cats.
Then came a little Pomeranian puppy named Spike. He's just so little, fluffy and cute that they decided to give him a hard rock name. :) My automatic NO was rooted in the fact that I don't have the patience, interest or time to walk a dog, to revolve our busy lives around a dog, to play with a puppy all the time. But somehow, in the blink of an eye, it just happened. Her 10th birthday came around and here Spike is in our lives. Life is so full for us that taking the time to train the dog and walk the dog I found to be fun for a second and then completely annoying and frustrating. I could be doing lots of other productive things with my time, so I thought. But then something dawned on me. I stopped resisting. I decided to look at dog walking and all things dog related differently.
Since Spike is only 6 months & tiny, he is super slow walking down the street. He will sit for a while, he will sniff one spot forever, and I was losing my patience initially until I realized that this little puppy is teaching me patience all over again! I had a crash course in patience after becoming a mother, but now I have a 10 year old, so all the patience you need with babies is a distant memory. This puppy is now offering me precious opportunities to practice mindfulness daily. To engage in walking meditation, to enjoy the nature around me, time to pray, set intentions and reflect...all this while walking a super slow puppy. He has taught me patience. I can't believe it! I now don't mind the walk around the block or just playing with him in the backyard. I look at it as my own time out. It's all in your mindset. Thanks to Spike I am forced to practice what I preach on a new level.
I've talked about walking meditation in the past but just wanted to remind you of this practice that can offer you a pep in your step, some joy and gratitude for your day. Normally walking meditation at Buddhist monasteries is very slow...with each step aligning with your breath. In everyday life we can still walk at a normal pace, but be aware of our feet touching the earth and be conscious of the nature around us. I practice walking meditation everywhere....yes, everywhere throughout the concrete jungle. My favorite teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn offers gatha's or mini poems to support our walking...such as “I am here. I am now.” “I have arrived. I am home.” What this means is that it's all about coming home to ourselves, being conscious of where we are. Being at peace with ourselves. Extending gratitude for where we are in the moment. Test it out today.
Where in your life is your patience being tested? One of my clients has a difficult time dealing with a colleague that drives her nuts by not taking responsibility for his projects, rolling projects onto her at the last minute, taking lazy short cuts and so on. Rather than spew out things she shouldn't say off the cuff or suffer with annoyance, she has been incorporating the practice of STOP, DROP and BREATHE and it's been helping her take a moment to chill, release the negative feelings that come up and breathe it out. She reports this has been a positive coping mechanism. She can then take a moment to think of how to effective communicate to achieve her desired results. I'm proud to report the practice is working.
I'd love to hear how you practice patience and move through the resistance? Do share with me.