“REALLY?!?!? Are you kidding me.” That was my monologue in response to the comment “sorry to make you wait…..” from a sweet store employee. Rewind 5 minutes prior to. My frame of mind these days is somewhat (definitely) unstable to say the least. I’ve been studying, practicing, organizing, testing, lather, rinse, repeat…… for 40 hours a week! Yes, I know this is voluntary AND temporary, however, it doesn’t ease the burden of the latest scholastic endeavor I’m undertaking. I am over joyed one moment, snapping at my family the next and dissolving into tears the next. Stressed beyond stressed is probably the most apt description. Okay, enough gory details, get the point?
It all started when my 12 year old daughter told me at 5PM that she needed graph paper for that night’s homework. After going to 2 drug stores, we headed home resolved to print out graph paper to get us through the night with the plan of me searching the next day to score the beloved object. I enter an office supply store; search in the “Paper” department, I am seemingly in a great mood. I feel that starting to shift as I begin to heat up, unable to find the paper or a store employee to help. The lines are long, I wait at the counter, an unsuspecting gentleman pushing a cart comes wheeling by. I ask about the paper, he points in the direction of the “Paper” section and says “it’s over there.” I feel the shift….. I instantly become irritable and ask him to bring me over to show me as I have already looked unsuccessfully. He tells me that I will have to wait a couple of minutes until he brings this merchandise “off of the floor.” What the heck does that mean? No, that question is not for you, it was what I was asking myself. So, impatiently, I make my way back to the counter, I wait…. get up to the woman at the register and ask her where the graph paper is. She points over to the “Paper” section and says “over there.” I then, with “gusto” and “enthusiasm” in my voice, explain that I’ve already looked and now have been “patiently waiting” for help. What does she do? Hollers over to the gentleman who was pushing the cart who said he would help me in a few minutes. Now, I’m fuming…. I’m losing it….. Don’t these people realize I have an agenda today? I’m starting to slip behind schedule.
The nice employee comes over, takes me to the graph paper and with the kindest eyes looks at me and says “I’m sorry to make you wait.” OMGOSH my jaw fell to the floor. Once again, the shift….. this time, sadness, disappointment, remorse, regret all in the name of acting like I did. I wanted to instantly hug him and invite him to my house for Christmas (true story). I then went out to the parking lot and cried.
What the heck! I experienced the entire rainbow of emotions in about a 5 minute period. Isn’t it amazing how at times when we are stretched and challenged, our reactions and emotions are hovering right at the surface and how right after something like a yoga class 🙂 we are totally “chill” and feel more steady?
Mindfulness and yoga teach us to welcome anything and everything that comes our way, WITHOUT judgement. That is the tricky part. I instantly judged and labeled this situation as bad. I began writing the story of how this “delay” would ruin the day, set me back. I had tests to study for after all. How about I go into the store, look for the paper, notice the irritation build up, let it wash over me, look for help (patiently), and just notice. Nobody died, I did well on my test that night, I got the graph paper….. Sigh….
Often times, our emotions, reactions and situations escalate because of expectations and judgements. If we just experience our moments, without trying to change them or force ourselves into something that doesn’t fit (like forcing our bodies into yoga poses instead of allowing the pose to fit the body) then just maybe we can be with our inner peace. The very depth of our being that remains constant, no matter what external chaos is going on!
Peace to all and to all an easy night!