Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Gaining Patience When You Have No Patience

I'm not going to act like some patient person who strolls through life unaffected. I write this post mainly for myself because the truth is, I'm incredibly impatient. As in, ask me the same question twice in a small period of time and I will probably snap at you. This has pretty much been my entire life. Things need to happen instantly or else I become edgy and irritable. Naturally, my first born child is much the same. We both want a response quickly. We want to be heard fully. We do not want to hear no or deviate from our well thought out plans. In short, we both need to work on our patience and I strongly believe that we were brought into one another's lives to help practice this difficult skill together.

Here is what I have been doing recently, as my patience grows shorter with my expanding belly and shrinking support network:

1) Breathe.

Literally stop everything you are doing and take deep, low inhale and exhale breaths through your nose. I am trying hard to teach Lennon the importance of breathing through our emotions. This has been a huge asset for me taught through the always inspiring practice of yoga. 5-10 breaths will help, at least temporarily until it starts to happen more naturally, avoiding an impatient outbreak beforehand.

2) Shake and Shimmy.

It may sound funny and it does look silly but sometimes when the impatient monster clings to your back, you literally need to shake it off. This is especially helpful for teaching young children how to get rid of difficult and overwhelming emotions. Physical manifestations of an otherwise intangible emotion make it kid friendly for understanding how to deal with it. Plus, while you may feel silly at first, laughter is an amazing cure for anything. My husband has taught me this often as he chuckles and cracks jokes at my impatience and often it makes me realize just how silly I am being.

3) Mantras.

One of my labor techniques, again inspired by my practice of yoga, was to chant mantras over and over until eventually, they became true manifestations. Choose something that helps keep you where you want to be. I lose my patience the most frequently around Lennon's sleep issues. If it has been the fourth time I have unlatched her to put her to sleep and she keeps rooting back for more boob, instead of freaking out (which I still do) I say in my head, You are strong, She needs help, Breathe, Remember that this too will pass, Smile. Sometimes I have to pump myself up before I even go into her room. Or in the car. Or at the store. You get the idea. Say it aloud or in your head. But say it often and believe every word.

4) Remove Yourself.

Of course there are times that you can't such as at the store or in the car, and that is when mantras or shaking and shimmying come in handy. But when you can, this can be a great tool. Even if your little ball of energy is chasing you around, taking the time to have a two minute break from whatever is pushing your patience button can keep you from flying over the edge.

5) Make Time for You.

If it is work, or children, or just a lack of desire to get out of your usual routine and do something for you, this can be an incredible tool. 2-4 hours of alone time where you focus exclusively on your own needs is crucial in recharging your grounded self to start fresh.

I hope these help you as much as they have helped me!

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