By Kris Kile
What are the disciplines and practices for taming the brain that are so effective that you might think they are “magic”? We take an initial peak at these today.
Do you have some personal attitudes, ways of being or behaviors that you wish you didn’t have, but can’t seem to rid yourself from? Perhaps you have worked on it, applied every technique you can think of to transform them, but only with incremental improvement rather than major improvement?
I certainly have experienced this. Here is the story of one of them. For decades I have been flummoxed by an interminable impatience while driving. I can be impatient in plenty of other venues, also (standing in line at the grocery store comes to mind), but the one that got my attention the most was impatient driving.
I will never forget when we moved to the Boston metro area in 1986. I had never lived in the Northeast. When we got there, I thought I had died and gone to driving heaven. Consistently, Massachusetts drivers are rated the most dangerous (most accidents per capita) and second most rude (to the perennial winner—New York City area) drivers in the country by the insurance industry. But, for me, the typical Boston driver mindset (entitled, aggressive, hostile, unpredictable and self righteous) seemed like a perfect fit for my driving preferences. I felt like I had “come home” when it comes to driving.
And, that worked for awhile, until—after moving to nearby New Hampshire—only an hour from Boston, I started accumulating traffic tickets until I was one ticket away from losing my license. I actually got that last ticket, but was able—through my attorney—to get it suspended through a promise to have no more tickets for two years and forty hours of service at the local soup kitchen.
It was at that point that I figured out I was going to have to change my driving habits and preferences (I know—slow learner). This took place around 1990.
So, since then, for twenty-five years, I have been intentionally working on being more patient behind the wheel, and in life in general.
For almost twenty of those years, I made incremental improvement—baby steps. I was able to slow down and almost cease the parade of traffic tickets—but that was more from a survival instinct (needing to drive to be able to work) than anything else. I still noticed impatience consistently even when I was not in a hurry to get somewhere.
It was not until I started consistently practicing mindfulness and mindsight disciplines that any major shifts started occurring.
There are many practices and disciplines that can support taming the brain. And we will cover some of the key ones in future blog posts. But, from my perspective, there are none more important than mindfulness practices, which then lead to the possibility of practicing mindsight disciplines.
These practices created so much movement in shifting my impatience to patience that it almost felt like magic. Over time, and in an ongoing fashion, they are transforming my interminable impatience. It is still there, but in a significantly diminished way.
In our next blog, we will dive into mindfulness and mindsight and why it is so critical.
What habits or attitudes would you like to transform? Post your comments and insights on our Facebook timeline. Post your comments and insights on our Facebook timeline.