Encouraging Words November 2002

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The greatest power is often simple patience.--E. Joseph Cossman


How did your evaluation go last month? Did you find a new direction and purpose?


Standing in line, waiting for the doctor, sitting in traffic do not sound like presents, but if we look closely at them we can see the gifts that waiting gives to us.

The Gift of Downtime

We complain that we have no downtime, but every time we wait in a line is an opportunity to slow down for a little while, to take a breather. No one is expecting anything from you at the moment. Often though, we are not relaxed in line. We complain, look at our watch, and think nasty thoughts about the people ahead of us in line. We have no control over how fast the line will move or traffic will go.

The great thing is-we do control our attitude. We can make waiting a time of rest or a waste of time just by what we concentrate on.

Anna C. Brackett wrote about waiting in her book The Technique of Rest in 1892. "When you are waiting for a train, don't keep perpetually looking to see if it is coming. The time of its arrival is the business of the conductor, not yours. It will not come any sooner for all your nervous glances and your impatient pacing, and you will save strength if you will keep quiet. After we discover that the people who sit still on a long railroad journey reach that journey's end at precisely the same time as those who "fuss" continually, we have a valuable piece of information which we should not fail to put to practical use."

In line you can daydream. Visualize your goals. Picture a vacation. Let your mind wander. Pray. Or just breathe awhile.

The Gift of Patience

In our fast-paced society we all need a little practice in patience. Everyone is in such a hurry and no one is willing to wait for anything. Fast food, ATMís, and the microwave provide things faster than ever and we donít even want to wait for them.

One definition of patience is: Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it. If we practice patience in little things like being on hold, maybe we can be more patient waiting for our dreams to fall into place.

In order to be more patient in waiting times, it helps to leave early. Itís easier to wait if you are not going to be late. Leaving 10 minutes early for everything gives you the extra time in case something comes up. And something always comes up.

No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.--Epictetus

The Gift of the Present Moment

The grocery store line was huge right before dinner. People all around me were complaining about not having time for this and I was starting to get annoyed. My 10-year old son was with me. He started talking and we had a whole conversation where I was able to concentrate solely on him. I had nothing else to do since I was waiting in a line. I felt so connected to my son at that moment, I was almost sorry when we got to the checkout counter.

Sometimes we can be in such a hurry to get where we want to be, that we forget how wonderful here is. Next time you are waiting, take a look around. There is always something interesting to look at or discover- paintings, fascinating people, things to read, or animals.

With kids, it seems I am waiting for hours a day. Children dawdle because they are so connected to the world around them. As adults in a hurry, we often miss what they see. If we slow down we can get that childlike spark back. Waiting is the perfect time to notice life.

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.--Coreta Kent

The Gift of Compassion and Humility

In waiting we are always dealing with other people. What we think of those whom we are waiting behind is rarely compassionate. We need to change our attitude. You know the one- what we have to do is more important than what anyone else has to do. Road rage is an example -driving like a maniac, cutting people off, risking other drivers because where we are going is more ďimportantĒ then where someone else is going. Being perpetually in a hurry and annoyed at being kept waiting is a sign that we are doing more than we need to. Thatís the time to start cutting things out of our to do list. I love people watching.

Standing in line at the bank I see a young woman with her 3-yr-old as she tries desperately to hold on to everything. I ask if I can hold something and she thankfully gives me her bag. When you look around you with compassion you are in a position to help others. Plus, you will feel great afterwards and the wait wonít seem as long.

You also meet captivating people while waiting. Talking with others keeps you both from being fed up and you never know what you will learn. I got some fantastic Christmas gift ideas yesterday at the grocery store from the lady next to me.

Humility is attentive patience.--Simone Weil It is in the small moments of life that we show who we are. How do you want to wait?

Take Action:

1.Decide from now on when you have to wait you will be in control of your attitude.

2.Be patient with yourself when you find yourself acting out of impatience.

3.Change your thinking the minute you start feeling impatient.

4. Be patient with those around you and look for ways to help others.

5. Drive the speed limit and sing in the car when you get stuck in traffic.

6. Leave 10 minutes early for everything.

If you need help coming up with an action plan, e-mail me for a free e-coaching session at dargis@chartermi.net.


Self-Care Tips for November:

∑ Remind yourself of what you like to play and do one thing this week

∑ Unclutter a closet and give away those clothes that donít make you feel great

∑ Do something creative like cooking, painting or home decorating

∑ When you want to buy something on impulse, put it back and see if you still want to buy it in a week.

"If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you're not going to be happy. If someone bases his or her happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn't going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness." --Andy Rooney


Relationship Ideas for November:

∑ Have a fall clean-up day with your family-raking, trimming and ending with hot cider

∑ Have a conversation with someone important to you, concentrating solely on them

∑ Help one person in need

∑ Make soup for a sick friend

"The cynic says, "One person can't do anything." I say, "Only one person can do anything." One person interacting creatively with others can move the world." --John W. Gardner


My new simplicity e-course begins Nov. 1. For more information and chance to sign up visit: Simplicity E-course

Donít forget to check out this weekís tiny change on junk drawers: and the Question of the Week


I encourage you this month to live enthusiastically, to encourage those around you and to think positively.

Coach Beth

Written by life coach,

Beth Dargis


Past issues are available at the newsletter section of the website.

Copyright (c) 2002 Beth Dargis, Zeeland, Michigan. All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 2002 Beth Dargis | Zeeland, MI | All rights reserved.