An exercise in mindfulness
  1. When I am stuck in traffic, I often find myself getting really angry.
  2. "I'm not going to have time to work out."
  3. "I'm going to be late to work and my patient is going to be pissed off."
  4. "I'm going to miss my dinner reservation."
  5. "I'm barely going to get to spend any time with my husband before being on call all weekend."
  6. And then I stop myself and take a big, deep breath and let it out (sometimes three breaths).
    This has taken me years to learn, and I still falter occasionally.
  7. Because it isn't about me. Or you. It's about the person who just got into a car wreck and died, or was seriously injured, or who now doesn't have a car.
  8. And they or their loved ones are maybe feeling like it is the end of the world.
  9. That's not to say that my feelings in that or similar situations aren't valid.
  10. But it sure puts it into perspective.
  11. And then I don't feel angry anymore.
  12. And if nothing else, it forces me to slow down.
  13. Sometimes I need to slow down.
  14. Sometimes we all need to slow down.