When things go right, we are cheerful----we feel good and have positive feelings----but as soon as bad things start to happen, we get depressed, unravel at the seams, or at the very best, we deal with it and cope- bracing ourself through the storm. We certainly don't transform our mishaps into the path. Why would we want to transform something that we want to be gone as soon as possible? The first thing that we need is deep patience. I am not talking about the passive, wishy washy patience that we tend to relate to in modern society. I challenge us to look at patience in a new light----as the capacity to welcome change and difficulty as it comes with an attitude of strength, resilience, endurance, and forbearance.

To practice this type of patience we can try to observe the obvious and more subtle ways that we try to avoid difficulty when it arises. What do we say and do? How does our body react to difficulty? Can we be quiet enough to notice if we  clench, contract, and grip when someone says something or does something that we don't like?

Rather than reacting unconsciously, we can be fiercely present with the things that challenge us. We can catch ourselves running away and reverse course coming back to what is really happening. Chances are it is not that serious and scary that we need to run for the hills. We can face what itThe "mishaps" on the path become opportunities to practice our mindfulness, to wake up and offer compassion to ourself and others, rather than an excuse to be in a bad mood or go back to being asleep or unconscious.

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