Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Practicing Patience

After standing still on Day 21, I celebrated on Day 24 by having fun in the kitchen coming up with dishes and trying new things. I was so inspired and caught up in the euphoria of it all. As the week wore on, I started doubting my ability to continue to create. I did not want to share my experience. Steadfast and easily not eating meat, I wanted to just absorb "why" I was no longer feeling happy about it. I needed to come to terms with it and determine "how" to move forward. It is always a simple three part process:

  1. Yoga - Uddhiyana Bandha which is a cleansing sequence. It helps remove any blockages and helps detoxification.
  2. Drink water - a very good friend once told me that water is "brain food" and the essential ingredient you need when it's time to think.
  3. Get a mirror - look at yourself and tell the truth.

After yoga, water, and the truth, I realized exactly what my problem was. The same old demon that challenges me from time to time: IMPATIENCE. I wanted it all and I wanted it now.


I've always been task-driven. This "gift" has provided both positive and negative consequences for me. Positively, it has enabled me to handle many things at the same time, get things done and to make things happen. I can walk and chew gum at the same time. These powerful tools were necessary during my years as a Project Manager. I was the "go-to" girl if you needed objectives delivered successfully, on-time, and within budget. In a results-based, corporate environment, there is little room for patience; you have to make quick, snap decisions, plan strategically, and insure a return of investment. I've honed this quite well after repetitiously performing tasks in "an efficient and timely manner".

Negatively, this gift also developed in an aggressive, assertive, impatient demeanor. I'll take the time right now to apologize to those of you whom I "cut-off" mid sentence to get my point across (so NOT intentional!) It caused me to develop a seemingly insatiable drive to seek out more and more challenging projects. I did it all and did it well. The more I took on, however, the more impatient I became. Get it done, get it done now, get it done fast. Never once did I think about slowing down.

The Need to Change

Fortunately, I managed to realize that I was gaining more through the negative aspects of this "gift" than the positive components. So, with the support of my family, I walked away from corporate life. That was seven years ago. (I'll tell the rest of that story another time.) Fast forward to today. Somehow, impatience keeps rearing its ugly head. With the history of my patience or lack thereof peering over my shoulder like a bad conscience, I realized that I need to do something I really haven't done before - practice patience. I need to change. With all of this behavioral change, the dissection and modification of each component is also crucial for success. Let's start with the definition:
pa·tience  noun  (pr.) \ˈpā-shən(t)s\
the habit of being patient;
having the capacity, will or ability to wait without complaint; steadiness;
endurance or perseverance in the performance of a task;
tolerance; understanding

Wow. That sounds like the definition of yoga and the way to cook beans. So, that's what I did, grateful for the revelation. I thought about how long it takes to make beans correctly.

Takin' It Slow

Traditional cooking is not fast. It is slow. It teaches patience. For some of the tastier meals, the longer it cooks, the better it is. I thought about the process to cook beans. Before you can use them for inclusion in any recipe, you must first:
-wash and drain them
-soak overnight
-wash and drain again
-bring to a slow boil over a medium flame
-reduce heat, simmer 1&1/2hr to 2 hours
-let cool
-ready to inclusion into a meal

So, at the one month point, on eve of Day 30, I looked in the mirror at myself to embrace that I am only at the beginning, to accept that it's okay to take it slow and to "practice patience". I went into the kitchen and just made beans: garbanzo beans, white beans, red beans, black beans, one hour at a time.

Yoga: 1 hour

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