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Become More Patient

Cory Muscara






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Become More Patient

In this meditation, we'll practice becoming a more patient parent and partner.

Hi, in this session, we're going to

discuss and practice the art of patience.

As a parent, your patience is

tested not only on a daily basis,

but on a moment-to-moment basis.

So if you feel like you

struggle with patience, just

know you're in good company.

Let's start by looking

at what impatience is.

On the most granular level it

is a refusal or inability to

be with the moment as it is.

Something is uncomfortable, triggering, it

activates your nervous system in some way.

And then something in you says,

I need to react immediately.

And usually that happens

unconsciously on autopilot, which

is why you might say something or

do something that later you regret.

But in the moment it didn't feel

like there was much of a choice.

So at the heart of training patience,

we're really building our nervous

system's capacity to be with something

that feels uncomfortable in the moment.

The better able we are to feel

what is present with a quality of

spaciousness and grounded-ness,

the better we'll be able to respond

intentionally rather than reactive.

There's that famous quote often attributed

to Victor Frankl that says, "Between

stimulus and response, there is a space.

In that space is our power

to choose our response.

And in our response lies

our growth and our freedom."

So we need to train ourselves to be

aware and present when there is a stimuli

so that we can respond intentionally

rather than reactively on autopilot.

So in today's meditation, that's

what we're going to practice doing.

So if you haven't already done so,

you can find a comfortable posture.

One that will enable you to

sit more still than you might

typically sit in meditation.

In other words, just make

sure you're comfortable.

If it feels okay to do so,

you can close your eyes.

And we'll take one deep breath together.

In through the nose.

Slowly out through the mouth.

Inviting the jaw to soften.

The shoulders.

And the belly.

So we're going to explore something

I call statue meditation, which

is the commitment to be perfectly

still in our meditation posture.

The way this trains patience is by asking

you to be with discomforts that arise

without immediately getting rid of them,

turning away from them, or reacting.

When you make the commitment to

stillness, you're asking yourself

to be with what arises without

following your normal impulses.

If there's an itch, you're

practicing relaxing into the

itch rather than scratching it.

If there's a little discomfort in

the knee, you're practicing being

with that for a period of time,

rather than immediately getting up.

And if you feel bored, you're

practicing being with the energy

of boredom, rather than trying to

find something more stimulating.

Although this might not be as significant

of a stimulus as something that might

arise during your parenting, you're

training yourself on small levels to

be with discomfort, which is like a

psychological vaccination for your mind.

So in a moment, I'll

count down from three.

It will give you an opportunity

to find a posture that you want to

commit to for about five minutes.

And then once I count down to one,

you're just going to stay perfectly

still like a statue and I'll guide

you through it once we're there.


Starting in three, two, and one.

All right.

So whatever posture you're in

right now, this is going to be

your statue meditation posture.

Not moving any fingers, not wiggling

the toes, not even adjusting the tongue.

There will, of course, still be

movement in the belly that you notice.

So let your breathing be easy.

And instead of tensing your muscles

in order to be still, you can

relax your body into stillness.

So this is not a forceful

kind of stillness.

It's a relaxed awareness.

And while you're here, you

can bring your attention to a

focus point such as the breath.

Letting your attention rest there.

Now the key thing here is that

it's almost inevitable that some

bit of discomfort will arise.

It might not be extreme.

But it could be the impulse to stand up,

the impulse to maybe go to the bathroom.

Maybe you do notice an itch or a slight

discomfort that you want to adjust.

Even the impulse to swallow.

You can explore not

immediately reacting to that.

It will feel quite uncomfortable.

In fact, your brain might

even say, you need to do this.

So see how long you can be

in that moment of discomfort.

Not gritting your teeth through it,

but relaxing into the discomfort.

This is how you train your nervous

system to be with sensation, intense

sensation, in a grounded embodied way.

So when you notice these things arise,

just take a breath, relax into them.

And then when the intensity softens,

just come back to your breath.

Letting that be your anchor point.

I'll give you a little bit of

time in silence to practice.

Just continue to monitor if

you're creating tension for

yourself by forcing stillness.

And instead keep dropping back into

relaxed awareness around whatever

the discomfort is or the impulse.

It's one thing to apply willpower,

which tends to be less sustainable.

It's another thing to learn to be with

the intensity of the sensation and

for the rest of your being to relax

into that, that's sustainable, that

allows you to respond intentionally.

So we have about 30 more seconds.

For these 30 seconds, see if

you can be as still as possible.

As if you were a statue.


So in 3, 2, 1, you can

let yourself move again.

But instead of doing a big impulsive

movement to get all the energy out,

see if you can do it intentionally, so

that again, you're not reacting to the

buildup, you're meeting it and responding.

Let's take one more deep breath together.

In through the nose.

And slowly out.

And if you're ready, you

can let your eyes open.

All right.

So this was our training impatience.

At the end of the day, this

is what it comes down to.

Your nervous system's capacity to be

with something that is uncomfortable.

It doesn't mean you don't

respond by putting up a boundary.

It doesn't mean that you don't

say something in an assertive way.

It's just giving you the ability to be

in an uncomfortable moment and respond

intentionally rather than reactively.

All of that is happening at the

level of the nervous system.

So, if you found this

useful, keep trying it out.

It's something you can do each day.

And if you stick with it, you will

see this start to impact your ability

to respond more intentionally in the

moments where you need that the most.

So thanks for practicing.

Thanks for training your nervous system.

This is big work and it's important.

I look forward to talking

to you again soon.

And until then, take care.

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