Friday, October 2, 2015
More About Symptoms
Last time I pointed out how the seemingly constant need for entertainment and distractions could be symptoms of deeper problems. At the very least these symptoms indicate a weakness in discipline and perspective. Another indication of the shortage of discipline and perspective could be a lack of patience.
The other day as I was driving to the studio to teach a yoga class, I was stopped behind a Honda at a red light. The light changed and the other lanes of traffic began to move, but the Honda was fixed to the spot. After about a count of four, he accelerated and began to catch up to a large truck in the lane in front of him that was slowing for other traffic. As he nearly caught up to the truck he abruptly slowed down. When the truck pulled into the turn lane he maintained his slow speed, as if the truck were still there. I am always wary of this kind of erratic driving, so pulled over to get past him and out of his way. As I drove by I could clearly see the driver looking down at his phone as his thumb moved over the keys. That must have been a very important message to justify putting himself and the rest of us on the road in danger. Apparently it just couldn’t wait.
I arrived at class safely. About half way through I noticed one participant who seemed not to be able to wait for my cuing. We barely finished doing a twist to the right and she was setting up for the twist to the left. A couple of other times she missed a cue to pause and had to back up to get with the rest of the class. During final relaxation I could see the fidgeting and sensed her thinking about when it would be over so she could get on with the rest of her day. Upon leaving she said that she usually went to an evening class but felt she needed yoga today to help her relax. I silently agreed one hundred percent with her diagnosis. I hoped the yoga helped a little, but it seemed to have not made a big difference. Too bad.
These kinds of reactions are not unusual. We all feel rushed; there’s just not enough time! So we cut corners, trying to get ahead. But this cutting corners can put us in dangerous situations or just cause us to throw away a great opportunity to chill out on the yoga mat and get a little control of our lives. It’s a lack of patience due to a failure in discipline, to tell ourselves “not now,” and in perspective to know how little many of our worries amount to over the long run.
One point is that many common and generalizable behavioral observations come not always from the news but from daily life. If you dare, take the patience challenge, gaze straight ahead and take 10 deep breaths before moving on to that next urgent piece of business.
There, doesn’t that feel better?