One thing you can do when you find yourself impatient, upset or reactive is to look for your breath. Start with an exhalation, bring your awareness into your body and notice what you feel that is alive within you. For example, you might feel your impatience, reactivity, or a sense of moving too fast. As you follow a couple of cycles of the breath, look inward to see and connect with a broader experience of the situation. For example, are you becoming trapped in judgment? Are you limiting yourself to ‘either/or’ thinking? What else do you notice? Allow yourself to notice what’s there and look at each moving part. Each part has a truth and is part of the whole.

Whenever I find myself under siege by what I call the ‘chatterbox mind,’ I draw my attention to my breathing. I start with an exhalation and follow my breath through at least one full cycle. I’ve done this when standing in line at a check-out counter, in traffic and when going through security at the airport. When my mind starts buzzing about “what’s the matter with these people?” and other judgmental thoughts, I follow my breath and I avoid a negative spiral. Try it the next time you are impatient, angry or in judgment. Since we can really only do one thing at a time, you get to choose to either follow the negative track or focus on your breathing and move into a more life giving place.