Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Week of Patience: Day 2-Honerary Guest Post

Hello BPositive BFree readers and supporters!

I am so excited that our friend B asked me to write a guest blog in honor of Patience Week and I just want to say right at the start how honored I am to not only have been asked to write this but I am also honored that you have allowed me to be a part of this space. I hope you find my words worthy of your time and maybe you even get a chuckle or two while reading my very first blog post. Ever. Yikes! Here we go! ( I would like to state, for the record, that I hold no psychology degree and the opinions in this piece are based solely on my own humble observations.) OK, for real this time.

Patience. In my mind patience takes two forms. I'll call them outward patience and inward patience. Both are muscles which, like any other, must be flexed and strengthened and like many others, may go
underutilized. (Just like my triceps!) I will break down these two forms of patience now. 1) Outward patience is how you deal with others. Other people, other situations and things which you cannot control. Maybe you are stuck in a traffic jam or you are in a long line at the grocery store. Maybe you're a parent whose child has just asked what feels like the millionth "Why" question in the last hour. Whatever the situation, they all have the power to become extremely stressful and irritating but here's my secret- they dont' have to be. OK, so maybe you already know my secret. You've heard this before from a friend or discovered it yourself. Knowing this has become like a secret weapon in my life whenever I find myself in a situation such as waiting in an extra long line at the grocery store when all I need to buy is shampoo and lemons. Yes, shampoo and lemons. Here's what I do. Instead of getting annoyed with the person in front of me for not allowing me to go first in line when I have two items and he has 34, I do the exact opposite. I revel in the fact that I have absolutely no control over my current situation. There isn't anything I can do to speed along the process no matter how long I stare at the cashier and send mental messages to scan faster! So, I sit back, relax and look around at the people who surround me that are letting themselves be controlled by the situation. I send them mental messages as well. Don't sweat it. Your groceries will get scanned, the traffic will start moving and eventually your child will tire. And if not, there's always the classic strategy of distracting them with something shiny!

2) Inward patience: This kind of patience often eludes me but I am beginning to see its value and have started to flex the muscle. (Triceps, you're next!) Recently I completed a 10 day cleanse. It was a food-based elimination cleanse that got rid of common toxins and allergens in your diet. I was not allowed to consume gluten, dairy, meat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol or processed foods. For someone whose diet consisted of a lot of processed foods and not enough fruits and vegetables I knew it would be a challenge but I thought 'It's only 10 days. I can do anything for 10 days'. Well, let me tell you. Those 10 days were some of the hardest of my life but I am forever grateful for experiencing them. (A big THANK YOU go to the leader of the cleanse "P" and the creator of this blog "B" for their unflappable support). Before starting the cleanse we were told that we may experience some symptoms while our bodies were detoxing. Irritability and a drop in energy being two of them. However, it was also said that after Day 3
your body should start to regulate itself and that the symptoms may become less severe. For me, the irritability showed up on Day 4 and didn't leave until Day 9. Frustration showed up on Day 1. This was
going to be a long 10 days. When Day 4 came and I felt my anger and frustration levels gradually rising throughout the day I thought 'Hey! I thought I was supposed to be feeling good by now. When's that
happening?' I continued to feel this way on days 5,6 and 7. Day 7 is when I hit an all time high in terms of frustration with my mind and body and their seeming lack of cooperation. I wanted to feel calm and
peaceful. I had images of me wearing long, flowy skirts and taking walks in the cold air. I wanted to feel good and happy but what I felt was cranky and impatient. I wanted to feel good today. Not tomorrow.
Today. Not in 5 minutes. Now. Once the level of frustration reached its boiling point and even I couldn't stand to be around me anymore I decided that it was time to change my outlook so that my experience
would change. I didn't need a bagel or a steak or a hamburger. What I needed was patience. Patience with my body and my emotions and trust that the cleanse was doing good things not only for my body but for my mind as well. I was putting so many expectations on myself that apparently did not match my mind's or body's process. If I needed to be grumpy and frustrated in order to learn the lessons that I learned while doing the cleanse (and there were so many) then I would have the patience to wait it out. The sooner I allowed myself to be angry or frustrated when I wasn't feeling great and stopped scolding myself for feeling that way the sooner things got a little easier. I relaxed the muscles of my body and strengthened the ones in my brain. So, having patience with yourself may not come easy and it may require you to practice it. Daily. Hourly. Whatever it takes it will be worth it. Patience. It's a gift you can give yourself and others and it really does pay off in the end.

Thank you all for reading this extra long guest blog post and for bearing witness to my first ever blog post of any kind. I hope we can meet again. Until then.....

BPositive. BFree and BPatient with yourselves!

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