Transforming Impatience

“Hurry up and wait” is an expression that is frequently difficult to live with for many people. It seems that there is a collective impatience operating in many areas of life these days. You may be observing this in grocery stores, in traffic, at work and at home. It turns out that impatience is nothing new for human beings, but maybe now it seems more widespread.

Recently, we heard someone ask, “where is everyone going so quickly?” What a great question that is. If someone is prone to impatience, once they arrive at one destination or goal, they urgently plow ahead to the next place. Is that you? If it is, you have probably experienced a sense of physical and mental tension that can waylay your best thinking and common sense. Impatience causes more problems than it solves.

Those with “hurry sickness” typically suffer physical, mental and emotional repercussions. They have a chronic sense of unrest and an inability to truly relax. Those who tend to be impatient are usually confused about what patience looks like and how to get there.

Here are some tried-and-true suggestions to help you shift unhealthy impatience patterns:

  • Breathe slowly and deeply. We have mentioned this in previous columns, and we say it again because it is perhaps the most direct, effective way to intervene on yourself.
  • Reason with yourself. Whether you’re stuck in a traffic jam or if someone doesn’t see things your way, do your best to be reasonable in how you respond.
  • Mentally slow everything down as it is unfolding. You likely have more control to do this than you may think.
  • Ask yourself whether the situation is truly life or death. Without question, most things are not.
  • Consider the downside of indulging your current bout of impatience. The implications to your health and relationships probably are not worth the indulgence.


Consider what it means to be refined. Typically, it might mean having cultured elegance in manner and behavior. To be described as refined can suggest someone with a high-quality way of operating, a person with sensibility.

Refinement can also be described as the improvement of something through small, incremental changes. Utilizing this definition can be helpful when considering attainment of your goals. The tendency can be to attempt sweeping changes in some way, especially at the first of the year. Thinking instead of making refinements can make the intended changes less daunting.

Let’s use the example of excessive alcohol consumption. In this example, let’s say you consumed excessive alcohol over the holiday season. You created a habit that doesn’t serve you well because you don’t awaken with energy and vitality. What is a refined way to approach this pattern?

First, know this is your decision and that you can make a different choice at any point. This eliminates any “shoulds” that seldom work in a sustained way. Secondly, take a reasonable approach. Radical change too quickly usually results in inner rebellion. And that lends itself to failure. Instead, start with small, but definite steps toward your goal.

Step down on the amount you’re consuming by sipping drinks slowly and mindfully. Give yourself a predetermined limit. Build in your success by pairing your alcoholic drink with a mocktail or perhaps water with lemon or lime. Taking this kind of approach is more practical for many people. But if you are having serious drinking issues such as blackouts, DUIs, explosive arguments, and performance problems, a more serious refinement such as treatment or other interventions may be needed. Barring that, the approach mentioned above is a solid way to increase the possibility of success. You can apply this refinement idea to other goals, too. Reach out to us today for support in reaching your goals!


Breaking the Chain of Pain

Are there particular issues that you have that your parents or others in your family tree also experienced? Maybe you struggle with financial issues. Perhaps specific health problems are at hand. It could be that you have difficulty with relationships. Have you ever found it interesting that you may have some of the same challenges as your parents or others had?

Sometimes, there is a chain of pain that is passed down generation to generation, largely unwittingly. This is not at all to judge anyone or to assume that there weren’t positive aspects. In fact, let’s face it. Without your ancestors, you wouldn’t be here right now. So, honoring the positives is important.

However, addressing the negatives is equally essential. If you are experiencing a painful pattern that you’ve seen in your ancestors, you have an opportunity to break the chain of pain. Even if it seems daunting, you have the ability to take it step by step to transform habits or beliefs that result in your suffering.

Don Miquel Ruiz, teacher, and author of “The Four Agreements,” refers to our ancestral book of law. These are things we learn when we are young that we come to believe as truth. Some of those ideas help us, and some hurt us.

In mindfulness you learn that when you take time for yourself, you are better able to help yourself and serve others. However, you may have been taught self-care is selfish. Similarly, if you were conditioned that being perfect should be your aim, you will suffer greatly. Humans are imperfect. You can shoot for excellence but focusing on perfection causes neuroses.

Breaking the change of pain may have to do with beliefs around money such as “in our family, we’ve always had trouble saving money.” If you buy into that belief, you buy into trouble. To break the chain, you can adopt and practice a new belief and create better conditions for yourself.

Monk Mode vs. Monkey Mind

Have you ever known a monk or spent time in an ashram? The serenity these people exhibit may seem other worldly and out of reach to you. In this noisy, fast paced, hectic world, being calm and grounded can seem close to impossible. But it’s not. You can call up your inner monk or switch into monk mode whenever you feel it would be beneficial.

If you’re a person that is quick to anger or easily impatient, you may unknowingly be limiting what you’re capable of in triggering situations. Although bad habits can be quite strong in the mind and nervous system, you can intervene.

First, give your inner monk a fun name. This keeps it playful. Adults can be too serious and heavy handed with themselves when working toward personal growth. This sabotages them. Then imagine how this person would perceive a difficult situation and how they would respond. Practice accessing and utilizing your monk mode when the opportunity arises. Consider how this persona walks and talks, how they feel and behave, and the results they enjoy.

Another successful strategy is to learn from monks or those who have trained themselves in this way of being. You can do this by spending time in these environments, reading about them or watching YouTube videos.

Jesse Itzler, entrepreneur and husband of Spanx founder Sara Blakely, enjoyed an extensive time with monks and wrote about it. The name of his book is called “Living with the Monks,” and it’s quite an enjoyable read. Thich Nhat Hanh, one of our teachers, has multiple books available as well as some powerful YouTube videos and audios. Michael Singer also has a fantastic read, “Untethered,” that you may find helpful on your monk mode journey.

Whether it’s people, situations or your own internal dialogue that trigger you into an aggressive, agitated being, you have the ability to alter if you truly choose to do so. Everyone benefits including you. Reach out to us today at 404-949-9500 for how to cultivate monk mode!

Feel to Heal

Have you heard the phrase “feel to heal?” Or perhaps you’re familiar with the concept of emotional bypassing? It’s a very common pattern in people to attempt to circumvent their emotions. Why? Emotions can be inconvenient, painful and awkward.

It’s essential that you feel your emotions in order to heal them. If you’ve had difficulty in the past, as most humans have, you may have unresolved emotions. These emotions go underground and drive your decisions and behaviors. Your body also takes a hit. This is why somatic therapy has become so prevalent these days. Somatic therapy of all types works within the body to identify and process emotions. You have more neuroreceptors in your body than your skull brain so many emotions are housed in the body and are negatively affecting you at the organ and cellular level.

First you need to recognize what is happening within you as well as your patterns. Next you need to investigate the emotions you may be feeling. Take an honest and thorough self-inventory to understand yourself at a deeper level. Denial causes further difficulties for you. They don’t like the feeling of vulnerability by acknowledging their humanity. They prefer to pretend or deny. This pattern causes more damage than it does good. In psychology, we identify this as “false bravado.” People fare much better when they release this pattern.

Many people tend to think their emotions rather than feel them which keeps them stuck. This is a form of emotional bypassing as is denial and avoidance. Feeling your full human emotions doesn’t mean you’re weak. It actually takes courage and strength. You can do this type of work while also remaining grounded and centered. Emotional bypassing dishonors who you truly are. When you take a leap of courage into this messy terrain of emotions, you become more comfortable with all of who you are and that is true personal power.