Mindful waiting

Mindful Waiting

March 27, 2014

Maria Hunt


In her book and blog about The Happiness Project (http://www.happiness-project.com/), author Gretchen Rubin shares how she puts “meditation” at the end of any task she considers boring or unpleasant.  She routinely participates in “Sitting in Traffic meditation,” “Doing Laundry meditation,” or “Listening to a Long Story on the Phone meditation.”

Rather than fall victim to a natural reaction of irritation, she suggests that we “dig in” to the activity… and take the perspective of a journalist or scientist.

This exercise is inspired by Gretchen Rubin.  Aim to objectively observe without getting hijacked by negative reactions. Start with a “little thing.”


When you find yourself in a bored or in a less pleasant or unpleasant situation, put the word “meditation” after the activity that is bothering you.

Focus your attention on “what is happening” inside and around you as if you were offering a play-by-play account of the event like a sports announcer.

For example, when recently interrupted by a copier that was out of ink, I practiced “Not Being Able to Print meditation” which went something like this:

Using my best Sports Announcer voice, I “announce” my actions quietly to myself, so I can recognize them as they occur in real time:

    • Feeling irritated… Taking a deep breath… Wondering why this has to happen to me…
    • Starting some “why me” and “why now” inner commentary that is familiar feeling… Noticing growing irritation…
    • Taking a deep breath… Struggling between wanting to rant and continuing to breathe… Smiling because I notice that I want to rant…
    • Walking down the hall to ask for help… Smiling when someone offers to help… Feeling gratitude that someone knows how to fill the cartridge… Saying thank you and noticing that I really mean it…
    • Feeling appreciation for my helper… Smiling because I was able to notice and interrupt my Irritation reaction!

© 2014 Maria Hunt. All rights reserved.

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