Saturday, May 12, 2012

Strengthening the patience muscle

This week was Pema Chodron´s turn to ride the Royal Express with me. If you know who Pema is, you may be wondering how I got a Tibetan nun to ride with me in my car. Well, let me explain... As I mentioned in previous blogs, I have started listening to books on CD during the past month, and this week was Pema´s turn with "Don´t bite the hook: finding freedom from Anger, Resentment and other Destructive Emotions". Synchronicity is the work of the Goddess and needless to say this is not the first time I experience it but it never ceases to amaze me.  I was listening to this audio book while driving to meet with my Goddess sisters for dinner yesterday and as Pema was describing how human beings have the ability to get bothered and that we need to develop the patience muscle, I got stuck in traffic. Yes... this is a very irritating experience for almost everyone but at the time I was hitting the traffic jam, Pema started talking about how we can work on strengthening the patience muscle in traffic jams... oh yes!!! She was riding the Royal Express with me at that moment. As she went on to describe how people get irritated and angry when they get stuck in traffic and how it is much simpler to just let go of those emotions and just relax, listen to music or even start looking at how other people are reacting to the traffic jam and make the connection. In doing so, we are practicing patience and if we practice patience in small events like this one, we will be better prepared when we are faced with really stressful situations.

She was also describing how people react to experiences differently. She said that once she was in a spiritual retreat and she was sitting listening to a speaker when a mud brick hit her head. The person who was sitting on her right started complaining that kids should not be throwing things at people, that they should go to the officials and have them do something - this person got all hooked up with the angry emotions. The person on her left, on the other hand, said that it was said that if you get hit on the head while in a retreat you may reach enlightenment. Two people, one situation, two different outcomes. This story reminded me of the equation I learned many years ago that says E+R=O (Event+Reaction=Outcome). We can not change the events that we face in our lives but we can definitely change our reactions to those events so we can modify our outcome. If we get angry when faced with challenges, the outcome may be very different from what it could be if we just let go of emotion and go with the flow like water.

We get to decide how we want to react to events in life. Do we want to be the ones that people fear will always blow up? Do we want to make people feel safe around us or scared we are going to throw a tantrum? We can always change our reaction and it is up to us whether a spark will turn into a big fire or it will just be a spark. Choose to strengthen your patience muscles and lower your ability to be bothered by situations in your life. By doing so, you will be prepared to face whatever comes your way and do it graciously.

Many blessings,

Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis


  1. I love listening to Pema Chodron. Her peaceful heart comes through in her voice and she has those qualities that I want to reflect in the world. Reading your questions about what we bring in reaction to any moment makes me think of common saying in my community "A Healthy Priestess makes all Things Sound." I truly believe that if we are healthy in our own mind and body then it will ripple out into our relationships. It will especially ripple out into our reactions and give us the strength to lift any situation up giving space for everyone to rise to the occasion of their best. Great reflections on Pema and thanks for sharing!
    Best of Blessings,

    1. Flora,
      I love when you say that "if we are healthy in our own mind and body, then it will ripple out in our relationships" I believe it will ripple in all aspects of our life and then that will help change the world. Thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate your comments!