Stressless Waiting via Mindfulness
From the time we are little we are made to wait. Wait at the doctor. Wait your turn. Wait for Santa. We spend a lot of our lives waiting. So why do we allow it to stress us out?
I'm currently stuck at the airport with a delayed flight due to fog. This is an opportune time to practice mindfulness.
How to wait mindfully:
Go for a walk - Walking meditation can be a great way to pass the time while waiting for a flight. Choose a path and pay attention to how your feet feel as they meet the floor. Notice the subtle movements of your body as it moves through space. Not only can this help clear your mind it is an alternative to sitting and waiting before having to sit on a plane.
Meditate - If you are in a situation where you can't walk, choose to meditate. This can be especially helpful if you are stuck on a plane waiting to depart. There are a few practices that lend themselves to this situation: gratitude, Metta or loving kindness, and Vipassana (scanning the body with a focus on the breath). Next time you are stuck somewhere, try focusing your attention on the good instead of something out of your control, like being stuck.
Radical Acceptance - It can be frustrating dealing with delays. Most times you are flying to get somewhere you would rather be. This in itself can bring on suffering as you wish things were other than they are. Accept that the situation is out of your control. What is in your control is your ability to accept what is. You are stuck. Being stuck is not permanent. Eventually something will happen. Why spend that time in a negative state of mind when you could accept what is and move on? Observe how being more accepting can shift your experience.
Next time you are waiting at the airport (or waiting anywhere for that matter), try inviting awareness, being observant, kindness and acceptance of what is and see how that can change your travel experience.