I’ve been meditating more regularly. Most recently I’ve been following a track on changing my relationship with patience, an emotion with which I’ve struggled as you may recollect from this recent post.
Impatience is me getting disproportionately angry when reality does noes meet my expectations.
I need to modify my expectations. One of the most frequent situations where I find myself blowing a gasket is when I ride-share. In the Nation’s Capital, most Lyft and Uber drivers are unfamiliar with the city. Many driveres are inexperienced. This leads to a perfect storm of distracted, tentative driving, that is both irritating and dangerous. When the driver is holding his phone in one hand, I get even more furious.
Everything I described in the previous paragraph occurred two days ago. Instead of getting angrier and angrier as the car crawled in the right lane because we were making a right turn in two miles, I closed my eyes and focused on my breath. How it felt as I inhaled, the movement of my body. My mind wandered to where I was going. I wasn’t going to be late. There was no appointment. I just needed to get to part of the town difficult to reach by public transportation.
Then I returned to my breathing. I felt myself unwind, unclenching my shoulders, my hands. My core. Then I thought about the driver. I get how important this job is for him. I get that it isn’t his fault he doesn’t know the city. I found compassion.
Then I returned to thinking about my breathing again. When we arrived I thanked my driver. And I told him, in no uncertain terms, to buy a phone mount. They’re ten bucks. He promised he would. I climbed out of the car and took a deep breath, in a good mood.
When I got in the car, I was expecting a driver who was capable, who knew his way around, who would drive safely and defensively. I know those are unrealistic expectations, except the “driving safely” part.
With help from guided and unguided meditation, I separated the emotions I felt from their cause. As I try to be more aware of my feelings as they occur, separating them from why they happen is my Holy Grail, enabling me to make better choices.
And enabling me to exit an Uber with a sense of contentment and give the driver five stars. Some may argue giving him a high rating doesn’t send the message. I would argue giving him three stars won’t help him either. What will help him is more driving time leading to more confidence.
For those who care, I get my guided meditation through the Head Space app. There are a ton of choices out there and I haven’t compared any of them so I’m not saying Head Space is better than the others. I’m just saying I like it.
Stay in touch. Connect.
P.S. The title alludes to Nietzsche’s book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The book introduced the concept of a Superman (Übermensch) as a goal for humanity to set for itself.
P.P.S. I am pretty sure I mentioned Holy Grail.
P.P.S. I wrote a piece on the role Monty Python played in my growing up. Read it here!