Wk10, Day2: What Are You Practicing?
I subscribe to a weekly email from Pema Chodron Foundation called “Quote of the Week.” It contains a short excerpt from one of her books or articles. Today’s proposed that we get good at what we practice. Her example was traffic: do we use humor, loving-kindness, and other skillful means to greet our circumstances? If so, we’re getting good at those skills for more difficult times by practicing them in times when there is less at stake.
The flip side: are were practicing (getting good at) responding with anger, frustration, or intolerance?
I carried that wisdom to the bank with me when I went to open a business account today. After initially leaving my home without the EIN number, I first practiced frustration with myself. As I returned to the car, I paused before starting the car back up. I made the choice to recognize that I noticed something I was missing right outside my home, which was a boon in that I only had to walk up the sidewalk to go back and get it. I then acknowledged that there might be other things I may not have when I get to the bank, but I could use this as an instructional trip to find out what I needed. I was going to deposit a check anyway. I could enjoy this as a fact-finding mission (which may or may not culminate in an account) or I could practice attachment to goals that may or may not be met on this trip to the bank.
Practicing in this way really turned the trip around. I learned which forms I needed, good times to come back when I had them (when the bank was less busy), and other tips for making my next trip faster.
Practicing in this way, I like to think, also added to my ability to respond similarly in future situations. Just like Pema said.