One of the very first things martial art students learn is to tie their belt. It is not easy to tie a karate belt for beginners but with patience, it becomes second nature. The process of tying a belt symbolizes a necessary virtue to achieve greatness in karate and life- the virtue of patience.
In the book, Make Yourself Unforgettable, the author talks about the definition of patience-which is “the ability to wait without experiencing anger, anxiety, or frustration.” Oh, the waiting, how I struggle with the waiting. I admit I have had less than stellar moments of being impatient. One time, in particular, comes to mind. I was straightening my bangs (a waste of time - why fight nature?) and something set me off, probably my misbehaving bangs, and I violently ripped the cord out of the wall. The plug end of the cord whipped right back at me like a boomerang and not even my karate reflexes could have reacted before it smacked me right in the nose!
Demonstrating patience on a daily basis is difficult, the struggle is real and if you’re not intentional about it, you just might get smacked in the nose. With some intentionality, however, patience can be learned and like a muscle, it can be strengthened. So challenge yourself like a pro and turn those unexpected waiting times into gifts to your wellness!
Focus on your breathe and mentally list all of the things you are grateful for.
When we marinate on all the gifts we have, it puts our present situation into perspective. The other day I drove to the brand new HomeGoods store in my nice car to get a knick-knack that I didn’t need with money I am fortunate to have earned at a job that I love and became seriously frustrated with a loud woman on her cell phone. Settle down, Carolyn. Take a deep breathe and keep things in perspective.
Plan ahead for unexpected hold-ups.
Take a few minutes to download some inspirational podcasts to listen to when you get held up in traffic. Always have a book in your car when your child's karate lesson goes over. Get your kids up 15 minutes earlier so they have enough time to prep for school. Take action today to save your sanity tomorrow.
Remind yourself that the person you are frustrated with is a child of God and should be treated like the miracle they are.
Aren’t we all children of the same God? Life is a miracle. This is apparent to us when we hold an infant in our arms for the first time, but we forget this as we imperfect humans grow into adulthood. Perhaps the cashier at the grocery store is dealing with past hurts and present struggles. Cut them some slack, smile, then thank them for their help.
Life and karate are all about progress and not perfection. Thank God for that because I am far from perfect but striving for progress.