You get the picture. I am sitting in traffic and my thoughts are beginning to spin about being late for a presentation. There is a presentation to do in a few minutes and it looks like I will be late. Interestingly enough, it is a presentation on mindfulness and I am also mulling over how I might start the talk. A little bit of anxiety shows its face….I can feel myself starting to be hard on myself for not leaving earlier….you know I like to be on time……. I am very familiar with my habitual response to a midly uncomfortable situation where I would like it to be different. A little bit of anxiety, some frustration, and self judgment are familiar internal dynamics.
This was an opportune time to put into “practice what I preach”. Sensing the rising discomfort and my desire for the feeling to be gone, as well as the traffic in front of me, I quickly decided to befriend the experience using my breath to achor me. I brought a sense of curiosity, interest and compassion to what I could observe in myself. Immediately, I recognized my conditioned response. Rather than being carried away by my rising emotional reactivity, a sense of peace, acceptance, and problem solving pervaded my experience as I came to terms with what I couldn’t control.
It reminded me of the numerous times during the day where it is possible to put mindfulness into practice. It is not just a good idea, it works in a very practical way to help maintain personal balance and a sense of control.
In the end, the experience became the opening for my talk. And guess what, I arrived with one minute to spare!