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11 February 2013 @ 07:52 am
On letting it go  
Often, when I'm on a bus that connects to another bus -- which happens about twice a day on normal commute days -- if I know that the connection is going to be tight, I feel the clench of anxious "I'm going to be late! HURRY!" But, of course, the bus goes as fast as it goes and no amount of tooth-clenching, toe-tapping, heart-pinched sighing is going to magically clear traffic out of it's way or INTO the path of the other bus in order to make the connection work for me.

So, this is a daily opportunity -- which I often but not always take -- to breathe and let what will be be. For the purposes of my commute especially, there is always a next bus, and it usually comes within 20 minutes, and what is is, so I might as well enjoy the air and let it go.

This is relatively easy when I set out to do it, because it's so clear that my urgent desire to make the bus has nothing to do with whether I do or not. It's good practice for those times when it's tempting to think my desire DOES have something to do with it: when I want someone to do something for me, or when I rush to finish one last thing at the end of the day.

Rushing and urgency so rarely improve or change (importantly) a situation or my experience or the experience of those around us. Better to breathe and let what is be what it is.

So today I made the bus connection. Tomorrow is another day.
I'm feeling: contentcontent
Spiderbabearachne8x on February 11th, 2013 12:56 pm (UTC)
Such a great practice when you can remember to do it.
lazyzlazyz on February 11th, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
I've been paying more attention to breathing, too. It helps so many circumstances.
ceelove on February 11th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this. Similarly, when I'm driving and frustrated/rushed/cranky, experiencing myself in that state can serve as a trigger to me to start speaking my metta, to foster my own lovingkindness.
Mizarchivist: bostonmizarchivist on February 11th, 2013 01:47 pm (UTC)
Good thoughts. I used to have that a lot more when I only had one way home and that was dependent on crazy-slow and easily delayed and overcrowded buses.

I'm so much happier now that there are several ways home. I deal by having fall back routes. I don't think I get home any faster, but I feel like I'm not entirely helpless.
blkblk on February 11th, 2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
I get to practice that when I'm driving and am slightly late somewhere. Clenching my teeth won't actually make the light change any faster!
drwexdrwex on February 11th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
That sort of zen is something I should practice more often.
Kcatkcatalyst on February 12th, 2013 03:40 pm (UTC)
Yay! My big struggle is when I *can* do something about it. On the bus, I can usually let go, secure in the knowledge that it's not my responsibility to make it happen, I will just deal with the consequences. But if I'm walking, for example, I want to be able to walk as faster as I should/can, without completely getting in a tizzy. Baby steps.
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on February 13th, 2013 03:04 pm (UTC)
That is great practice.

I wonder if I lack a sense of urgency. So rarely do things feel important to get worked up about, even when I can affect them. I wonder what the opposite practice would be?
jordanwillow: billu: let it gojordanwillow on February 13th, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
This pretty much captures every minute of my life right now. No, I'm not always on a bus, but I'm almost always faced with my own useless sense of urgency regarding a particular lengthy life thing over which I have absolutely no control. A lot of the time, I'm failing to let it go. But I try to be mindful about it regardless of how well I'm coping with it at any particular time. I try to keep up the practice. Thanks for sharing; I feel less alone. And I'll remember to get some literal practice this evening when I'm on the 77 stuck in traffic.
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on February 16th, 2013 04:46 am (UTC)
Yes! I feel that way -- the hurry, hurry! -- when I am overwhelmed, but of course, hurrying actually makes me work more slowly because I flit between tasks! Monotasking is totally clearly better and also still really hard for me.