It was the day before my birthday and I had one day left to renew my driver’s license.
I jumped in the car and headed to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as I pulled into the parking lot because there wasn’t a parking spot in sight.
After circling around, eventually a parking space opened up, I parked my car and I headed toward the main building.
As I opened the front door I was immediately faced with a wall of people standing in line patiently waiting their turn for the next available motor vehicle attendant.
I braced myself for a long wait.
Time dragged on.
I watched the clock as I waited for the attendant to call my number.
After about an hour I could feel my blood starting to boil.
I was becoming more agitated.
I could feel my temperature rising.
I was losing my patience.
My mind started racing…“Why don’t they have more people on staff?” “Why can’t they organize this office to be more efficient?” “Why did I wait until the final hour to have my license renewed?”
I didn’t want to be there, I had better things to do. I was hungry.
I was getting more irritable by the minute and my frustrations were turning to anger.
All of a sudden something happened…
I remembered my mindfulness practice.
I became aware of myself.
I became aware that I was irritable and angry.
More importantly, I could clearly see that my irritability and anger was destroying my mood.
So I asked myself, “Do I want this?” “Is this irritability and anger that I’m feeling adding or taking away the enjoyment of my life?
I immediately could see that these feelings of irritability and anger were putting me in a bad mood.
So I made a decision.
I decided that I wouldn’t waste another precious second of my life in anger and frustration.
Slow Down and Breathe
I took a couple of deep breaths and decided to relax and enjoy the present moment. Even if it meant spending the entire rest of my day at the Motor Vehicle office.
Isn’t it amazing how a simple perspective shift can totally change the way you think about a situation?
If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. -Wayne Dyer
The next time you are at the grocery store in a checkout line or in a traffic jam be really aware.
Use your mindfulness practice to override old reactive patterns. Begin to see mindfulness as your true sanity and friend.
Take a step back and see that your wellness and peace of mind depends on how you respond to life’s events or situations.
The next time you head out to the DMV office, remember to be mindful.
Eventually my license was renewed.
So was my mental state.