Be Present By Being Patient
Have you ever been on vacation and can’t help but think about work? Do you take an amazing moment like a romantic date or playing with your kids and get caught up in what needs to be fixed or what could be better?
Personally, I’ve had a hard time lately being places knowing stuff has to get done.
I can’t drive my car without thinking how much it needs to cleaned. I can’t play with my kids in the pool without thinking about how bad that stucco on the side of the house needs repair. I can’t workout in my own gym without trying to plan the painting and improvements to be done.
I’ve heard this condition described as being a perfectionist, someone who always has a critical eye and can’t stand imperfection.
Something that was made clear to me by my Concious Leadership Coach, Jack, was that this wasn’t a matter of imperfection, this was a matter of impatience.
It’s not that I can’t be ok with imperfection. I’m ok with it in a bunch of different ways. It’s that I struggle to be patient in the moment. And since I struggle to be patient, I struggle to be present.
When we take our mind out of the moment, we lose the connection and our availability to the people we’re with. As I watch my kids grow up at lightning speed, thats a scary thought to miss special moments I will never get again. When I see pictures from a few years ago, I’ll say “yea I was there” but then I’ll ask “was I really there?”
I typically keep my mind busy with what I believe to be “useful” stuff, but that doesn’t make leaving the moment any better than if I were mindlessly scrolling through Facebook on my phone.
I’ve heard a few stats recently about how we’ve become addicted to our phones and check it 100 times day or more. Turning to your phone, surfing social media, are examples of impatience.
These things are a way for us to leave the present when we become impatient with it.
The Concious Leadership Group and our Coach Jack described this impatience as “drifting”. They have a list of activities we can recognize we do when we are drifting. You can download the Drift List by following this link below.
Jack recommended we find a word or phrase that we could recite when we started to drift. He shared that he also has a hard time staying present in the moment and will think about the things he has to do. He said his magic word is “SAVOR”. Whenever he feels pulled by impatience, he reminds himself to savor this moment right now and everything it has to offer.
It’s something I’ve been doing more of lately. Trying to savor each and every moment I have in my gym, and every moment I have with my family. I stop trying to correct the moment or fix the future, and just live in it.
My magic word has been “patience”. It often comes in the context of “I am patient” and “be more patient”.
Being patient and present for me isn’t simply about remembering special moments in my life. I notice I create better stories about experiences when I’m in a patient mindset.
Feelings of frustration, being stuck, not being good enough, or not being further along then I should be, are all interpretations that I’ve created. They are stories that stem from an impatient mindset.
But when I remind myself that I am patient, I can let frustration go, let temptation go, and just be ok with things being ok.
Next time you find yourself leaving a great moment to mentally rehearse work, take a break. Invite patience in and remind yourself the most important place you need to be is where you are.
If you find yourself reaching for your phone for no reason, or wandering to the pantry for a snack when you’re not hungry, pause for a moment.
Stop your impatience from getting you in trouble, and let patience start getting you in tune with what matters.