Conscious Cat Sunday: learn to be patient


Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back
into the slow circles of nature, is a help.  – May Sarton

Patience has never been my strong suit. My mother used to tease me about being impatient when I was little, and apparently, I haven’t changed much since then, because being patient is still a challenge for me. Oddly enough, I became a writer. If there’s anything that requires more patience than sitting in front of a blank screen, waiting to turn it into a book, I don’t know what is. For some reason, I can be patient with the writing process, but in other situations, I find it challenging.

Patience comes with wisdom, and you can learn to be more patient. Ironically, it takes patience to learn to be patient. The following tips can help:

Identify your triggers. Figure out what sets you off. Is it something a family member or co-worker does? Do you become impatient in certain situations, such as being on hold? For some people, physical triggers such as hunger, fatigue or thirst can trigger impatience. Identifying your triggers can help you anticipate and come up with strategies to manage your impatience better.

Breathe. Taking slow, deep breaths can help you remain patient.

Slow down. Force yourself to speak more slowly, or move more slowly. Acting “as if” you’re patient may actually make you more patient.

Remember what’s important. We often get impatient over the silliest little things. The world is not going to end because the person in line in front of you is digging through her change purse.

Manage your emotions. You may not have a choice over the reason that’s keeping you waiting, but you do have a choice how you react. You can choose to be patient, or you can choose not to be. While choosing to be patient may not change the outcome, it will make you feel better.

Laugh. Impatience is frequently the result of taking life too seriously. Instead of reacting with anger or frustration, choose to find the humor in the situation.

Cats are masters at teaching us about patience. Have you ever watched a cat stalk his prey (or, in the case of our housecats, a toy)? They will patiently wait until they think the time is right to pounce.

Is being patient challenging for you? What has helped you be more patient?

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10 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: learn to be patient

    • Ingrid
      July 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm (9 years ago)

      Nice tie-in to our post from two Sundays ago, Layla!

  1. Chris Davis
    July 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm (9 years ago)

    Patience is something I struggle with, too. This past week brought several unexpected situations which tested my patience to the max! I decided to take these as teachable moments, and looked for something good in the middle of the chaos. I knew I had done all I could do, and the only thing left was to wait for the situations to be corrected. I realized I no longer had to think about the problems – I was free to focus my attention elsewhere. That was very liberating – an unexpected blessing!

    • Ingrid
      July 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm (9 years ago)

      That’s great that you were able to find something good in the middle of your challenges, Chris – often easier said than done!

  2. Caren Gittleman
    July 29, 2012 at 10:46 am (9 years ago)

    Patience has never been my strong suit. I have become better with age but it is something that I still struggle with.

    • Ingrid
      July 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm (9 years ago)

      It’s comforting to know that it does get easier as we get older, Caren, isn’t it?

  3. Bernadette
    July 29, 2012 at 9:11 am (9 years ago)

    I have learned patience in most situations. If not, either a cat comes along and offers itself for petting, saving me from embarassment, or I end up doing something stupid in my impatience.

    • Ingrid
      July 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm (9 years ago)

      That is so true about impatience causing us to do something stupid, Bernadette!

  4. Texas, a cat in New York
    July 29, 2012 at 8:17 am (9 years ago)

    This is so true that we are good teachers of patience. Sometimes I just watch my human getting angry at her computer for being too slow (too funny). And I yawn.


    • Ingrid
      July 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm (9 years ago)

      Cats are so much smarter than we are, Texas.


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