It’s easy for me to “Not like” doing the things that I label “I” don’t like this!” I find that label seems to apply to anything I “Don’t want to do” so the content is changing, although the process of “I don’t like this” is always the exact same process. I know my ego doesn’t like waiting, so any waiting seems to get labeled “Wasting my time” no matter what it’s for! (As though “I” own the time I have in life. Worrying about wasting of time is a big waste of time!)
We all get “stuck” sometimes waiting for someone, something, or some event to transpire. I find that there are two ways my ego reacts while waiting. One: I get sucked up into my head, become inpatient, and start listening to stories about an alternate future where I am past the waiting point and there are never any lines. Two: I get sucked up into my head and drift, thinking of past events and people, or finding reasons to be upset over stories about the past, present, and future. Neither of these are something I find useful.
What has been helpful is the encouragement I received years ago that involves the focus of attention. So when I am stuck waiting, I attend to the breathing cycle for a few seconds, and then redirect my attention to what’s happening in my environment. There, I can engage with a focus on being grateful for all the opportunities life opens in the moments I am in experience.
I have also noticed that, in presence, I can add something to where I am instead of being caught in thoughts about where I would rather be. It means I can share eye contact and “eye” smiles. Eye smiles actually translate around the protective masks! Sometimes others want to exchange thoughts or comments. It’s fun! Much more pleasant than being stuck in ego! I was once stuck in traffic on the Ambassador Bridge that separates Detroit from Windsor and had a fifteen minute discussion with the people in the car next to me. It started when I smiled and nodded to the driver with a “What can you do?” shrug. Much better than sitting being miserable being stuck in egoistic thoughts.
I’m pretty sure that reality doesn’t care much whether I am present or not, it continues to unfold relentlessly. I also know that I can choose to be stuck in my head or engage with my surroundings. I think I’ll do my best to stay present and engaged.
How do you find yourself when in those situations when waiting? How do you want to experience those times?
Thank you to Lea, Rosie, and Lily, my Australian friends, for the photo! Love my friends in Australia.