As I rush around trying to accomplish all the tasks on my to-do list, I catch a toe on the corner of the dresser. Ouch! I take a brief moment to rub the injured part then hurry on to the next chore. In an effort to get it all done (and quickly), I notice more time spent in undoing mistakes or soothing minor injuries than in fulfilling what I set out to do. The sense of completion I was aiming for is lost in a sea if inefficiency. Then my mother’s voice rings like a bell in my mind: “haste makes waste”. I stop and remind myself to slow down then proceed more carefully. This is a pattern I notice in myself. Because I am capable of taking on many endeavors at once and am usually graceful while performing this juggling act, I sometimes forget that mindfulness of my movements is the real key to efficiency. And often it’s not until the spaghetti is on the floor or the ice pack is on the bruise, am I forced to stop. I laugh at my unproductiveness and realize that mom was right.
“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” ~ Lewis Carroll
Usually in my daily undertakings, everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Through the years I have strived to achieve this. There are methods I rely on to help me maintain balance and grace in this area:
• Take 10 breaths. When I catch myself moving too quickly, I remind myself to pause. I stop whatever I’m doing, re-align my posture and take 10 full, deep breaths. This is a simple way to bring myself back to the present moment and be able continue on. Although it only takes about 2 minutes, it provides a sense of re-centering and grounding. And even though my mind tries to affirm that “I don’t have time for this!” it always provides exactly the focus needed in the moment.
“Why is patience so important? Because it makes us pay attention.” ~ Paulo Coelho
• Flower essence of Impatiens. Whenever I feel a sense of imbalance, I always turn to my flower essence allies. Impatiens (like it’s name suggests) is used to impart a sense of calm and ease. Those of us prone to feeling irritable with the slowness of events or the actions of others, benefit from this healing flower.
This definition of the Impatiens type from Patricia Kaminski of the Flower Essence Society, sums it up perfectly:
“The souls who need Impatiens find it difficult to be within the flow of time; their tendency is to rush ahead of experience. In doing so, they deny themselves full immersion in life, even though they may appear very busy and engaged. In particular, these individuals miss the more gentle and subtle exchanges, which can occur with others, or with the world around them. Their overabundance of fiery force flares up easily into irritation, impatience, intolerance, and anger. Although quite mentally agile and extremely capable, the great inner tension and excitability of such souls leads to various physical disease states or premature aging due to “burnout.” The Impatiens type needs to experience not only the powerful flaming of life, but also its gentle flowering. Through the Impatiens essence, the soul learns to still the attention and deepen the breathing so that the inner Self becomes more receptive to the unfolding moment. The precious flower of life is then experienced in all of its fleeting fragility and delicate beauty.”
Turning attention inward at the beginning of a task, before feelings of anxiousness or frustration arise, provides the necessary space to accomplish undertakings with a calm, inner strength.
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”