Perfecting Patience

It is possible to perfect patience?

That’s something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately. I currently work in an environment in which the majority of coworkers come to me to vent and complain about nearly everything under the sun. Let’s just say they sweat the really small stuff. For example, on a daily basis, I might hear: “Why is that door locked?! Where are the pencils?! Who took the laptop?! Have you seen the condition of the bathroom?!” Behind these questions and complaints comes a flurry of anger and frustration. I feel it hit me in the chest (and seeing as my job responsibilities have nothing to do with any of these issues), I do my best to listen and maintain patience.

So, for anyone in a similar situation, follow these steps:

1. Remind yourself that they desperately need a sounding board. (Could it be that they don’t have anyone else to vent to?)
2. Remind yourself that you are not omniscient and cannot solve many of their problems.
3. Let it be.
4. Find the humor in it and laugh.

My old strategy of coping with my coworkers was to jump up whenever someone needed me, whether it was part of my job description or not. This drained me very quickly. So my new and improved technique is to be silent and breathe. Sure, I still help them whenever I can… but instead of getting wrapped up in the petty details, I wait. And wait some more. Nine times out of ten, these problems resolve themselves. Those pencils reappear on their own. Or someone finds the key to unlock the door.

Yoga teaches us to take the time to put ourselves first. Do not forget this, even in the workplace. By doing so, you will hold to your patience and preserve your true integrity. Turn every moment into yoga and breathe.

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