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Melli O'Brien



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Working With Impatience

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'm going to talk about

how to work with impatience.

Now, I'm just going to say up front

here that this has been something

that I have had to work on since

I was a very, very young infant.

I was so impatient when I was

young that my mother took me

to the local priest for help.

They got me to memorize this really funny

song about patience and take deep breaths.

But I think my driven and

determined nature still got

the better of me for many, many

years, much to my mother's dismay.

But as time has gone on, I have

come to see that the stress,

tension and inner turmoil that

impatience causes, especially in my

meditation practice, is not worth it.

And I've learned to let

it go, most of the time.

But what I've come to see is the

impatience arises within us not

because things are necessarily moving

too slowly, but because of a series

of thoughts arising in the mind.

Thoughts about how we want life to be.

We want life to be a certain way.

We want it to be different than it

is right in that present moment.

So we have this idea of how we think life

should be, and then we just fixate on it.

These thoughts then give rise

to emotions such as boredom,

frustration, irritation or even anger.

And the more we buy into those

thoughts, the greater and the stronger

our experience of impatience will be.

So during a meditation, you might

have a thought like, you might be

listening to a guided meditation and

thinking, Oh, for goodness sake, stop

talking, get on with the meditation.

Or you might think, Oh,

this is going on too long.

I've got all these important

things to do today.

Or you might just be looking

at your watch and thinking,

when is this going to be over?

You might start to be impatient

with yourself in not progressing in

meditation the way you want to or

expect to, or perhaps you get frustrated

because your mind won't settle.

Maybe you even have a sort of

broader impatience with the way

that your life is unfolding.

Whatever the impatience is,

it all starts with a thought.

A thought that has an underlying

theme, this moment should be

different than it is right now.

Once you see that clearly, then you

can simply make the choice to let

go of what you think life should be.

And instead, just relax into

the present moment as it is.

So we don't need to cultivate

more patience per se.

What we're doing here is actually

simply learning to let go of

impatience so we can live our

lives with more ease and happiness.

So the next time you feel impatience

arising, either in meditation or daily

life, perhaps in slow traffic, in the

checkout line or in a conversation,

don't see the impatience as an obstacle,

rather see it as a reminder to let

go of the storyline that things need

to be different and then simply be

present with the moment as it is.

As always, thank you for your practice

and your presence here with us.

And now let's settle in

for today's meditation.

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