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How to be patient in 10 seconds

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“You’re not playing with me!”

Her right foot was poised to throw a front kick at her big sister’s back.

I saw it from the corner of my eye but I wasn’t quick enough to block it.

Good thing the little one was, well, little, her kick hardly moved her big sister in place. I don’t think she even felt it.

But that still didn’t make it right.

I was controlled enough to keep my mouth shut but my hand involuntarily slammed my table.

The little one looked at me as tears started welling in her eyes. She walked out of the bedroom and slammed the door with all her might. Bam!

For a few seconds, I forgot to do one small thing that could have made a big difference to how I handle this situation.


Do you forget to breathe?

I know that sounds silly, if you forgot to breathe for a very long time, you will die.

But during times of stress, do you notice how your breathing becomes shallow and irregular? Sometimes it’s so shallow, it’s like you’re barely breathing.

We forget the deep kind of breath that brings so much good to our body. Because according to this, “oxygen purifies our blood and removes poisonous waste products from our system.”

Now try this with me: Straighten your posture, inhale deeply, hold it in for about three seconds then exhale slowly.

How did that feel?

Now try that again.

And as you breathe in, imagine the air cleansing your mind, your heart, and everything else inside you. It’s like positive energy, patience and love filling you up.

And as you exhale slowly, try to really empty your lungs and imagine yourself pushing out all the negative vibes, frustrations and stress inside you.

Ah that feels good.

Note to self: Breathe

Note to self: Breathe

Enter the sanctuary

Pressure. Stress. Worry.

The feelings were mounting, my head was hurting and I felt like I was gonna explode.

I got up from my chair, shook my hands to break my state and walked to my fortress.

The vibranium steel structure reached the sky. It was shimmering in the sun in the middle of a field of roses.

It is my sanctuary. When I am inside, nothing can disturb me.

I entered the fortress and closed the door shut.

Serenity. Love. Patience.

I am safe. I am at peace.

How do you become at peace?

Create your own sanctuary.

The sanctuary is one of the techniques I learned when I trained in NLP. And just as the word suggests, it’s a place you can go to (or run to) when you need to feel positive again.

And since it’s imaginary, you can build it with anything you like and you can find it or bring it with you anywhere you want.

Thanks to the Captain America movie for the idea of vibranium, that’s what I used to build my fortress. It’s the strongest steel in the world and negative energy cannot penetrate it.

You can make your fortress with bricks, stones, steel… whatever you can imagine. Remember that this sanctuary is filled with everything that is good. Know and believe that this sanctuary is strong enough to protect you.

Another thing to remember is enter your sanctuary when you’re in a neutral state.

So if you’re feeling bad, shake the feeling off of you to break the negative state and breathe deeply before you enter your sanctuary.

And while you’re inside, continue to breathe deeply until you are feeling relaxed.

This can happen in all of ten seconds but if you want to stay in your sanctuary a bit longer, feel free to do so.

But isn’t that just in your imagination? How can that work?

I can hear the objection of your logical self. And that’s understandable.

Just know that whatever situation you are in, you always have a choice. And your mind is your most powerful ally to help you make those choices.

In this case, you can choose to continue feeling negative or you can choose to use your body plus your mind’s natural ability to heal you and give you peace.

So what’s your choice?

The end

She peeped through the door, eyes sad and just a little bit hopeful.

“Mommy, is mad at me…”

“Come here baby…”

“But you’re mad at me.”

“I’m just upset at what happened. I want you and your big sister to care for each other.”

She stayed behind the door, like she’s pondering what I said.

And I let her be, waiting for the message to sink in. Hoping she would understand that, even if I get impatient sometimes, I still love her. I always love her.

After a few minutes, there’s a gentle tap on my arm.

“I’m sorry Mommy.”

Then she turns to her sister, “I’m sorry Jamaine.”

I scooped her in my arms and hugged her tight. I knew she understood.

Focus:In any situation, you always have a choice about what to do next. And when you’re feeling bad, you can choose to feel better. Let your mind and your body work together to help you do just that.

Practice: Spend a few moments every hour to practice breathing deeply. Savor the feeling inside of you and feel good. When you find yourself in a tight spot, create your sanctuary and go there whenever you feel the need to.

Other Posts in the β€œPracticing Patience” Series

  1. How to be patient with your children
  2. Three reasons intentions can help you become more patient
  3. Want to be patient? Close your eyes

Do you have a personal sanctuary? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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17 comments… add one
  • Life As Wife May 7, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Parenting is a tough gig! It’s hard not to act on impulse sometimes!
    Life As Wife recently posted..He Just Saw Friend

    • Optimommy May 7, 2012, 9:00 pm

      Agree and it’s something I’m continuously working on, one day at a time.

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment Samantha!

  • Deanna @ Little Green Bow May 7, 2012, 4:56 pm

    Although I do not have children yet, I am sure we can all relate to this story. Thanks for the reminder to breathe in these situations. BTW, stopping by from the SITS girls’ Spring Fling Blog event. Looking forward to reading more, learning about positive parenting, and connecting through the SITS girls. Nice to meet you. Cheers!
    Deanna @ Little Green Bow recently posted..a golf tournament for melanoma

    • Optimommy May 7, 2012, 9:02 pm

      Welcome Deanna! It’s nice to meet you. πŸ™‚ Thank you for connecting and taking the time to leave a comment. Happy Spring Fling!

  • jamie@[kreyv] May 7, 2012, 8:01 pm

    Great advice…with parenting and life in general. I will try to remember to breathe!

    I’m stopping by from the SITS Spring Fling. I would love for you to check out my giveaway!

    jamie@[kreyv] recently posted..Kind of Genius…

    • Optimommy May 7, 2012, 9:05 pm

      Hi Jamie! We have the same name! Though mine is Jayme, people often spell my name like yours. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Will check out your giveaway now. Happy Spring Fling!

  • Kathy V. May 7, 2012, 11:01 pm

    I stopped over from SITS. What a great post! I wish I’d read it earlier today, before I yelled at my husband for asking how my day was, and then stormed off and passed out for an hour. Your blog may save my marriage! Thanks for the words of wisdom!

    • Optimommy May 8, 2012, 5:11 am

      Hi Kathy! Thank you for reading my post. I guess we all have our “moments” and while we can’t take back the things that already happened, we can always move forward. We can always respond better.

      Just the other night, I had a really stressful time and snapped a little. Right before bedtime too. I had to remind myself to always be aware, think before responding.

      It’s so nice to meet you and feel free to drop by again soon. πŸ™‚

  • Amber @ Backwards Life May 8, 2012, 2:11 am

    Hi I’m stopping over from the SITS link-up. I’m so glad I found your site. My daughter is in the thick of the nastiness that 3 can bring so I need your reminders to be patient. Count yourself a new reader and FB fan!

    • Optimommy May 8, 2012, 5:22 am

      Thank you Amber! My youngest daughter is three turning four. And sometimes she can be a toughie. Parenting really is a daily challenge so I guess the best we can do is take it one day at a time, one moment at a time. And stock up on patience. Lots and lots of it. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for dropping by and for taking the time to comment. Feel free to visit my online home anytime! πŸ™‚

  • Adrienne May 8, 2012, 7:59 pm

    The “P” word! I think I should stick around and see what you have here. It sounds like I could learn a few things from you. πŸ˜‰
    Adrienne recently posted..If I bought a dog…

    • Optimommy May 8, 2012, 9:45 pm

      Hi Adrienne! Yes, the “P” word has been my central focus lately as it’s something I need more supply of now. I would love to have you stick around as I wrap up this series.

      I would love to get to know you and learn from you too. Thank you for dropping by and feel free to visit again soon! πŸ™‚

  • Adelina Priddis May 8, 2012, 10:31 pm

    You’re kids are adorable! I really like the idea of a sanctuary. What a great way to help cleanse our minds so we can truly understand and teach our kids with love.
    Thanks again for the wonderful posts!
    Adelina Priddis recently posted..Over the Sink Light

    • Optimommy May 17, 2012, 5:22 pm

      I have been visiting the sanctuary a lot lately, mostly in the mornings after I wake up, to prepare myself for the day ahead. And it works great too. Thank you for visiting Adelina! Hope everything is going well. πŸ™‚

  • Stefanie May 22, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Taking a moment to stop and breath is a great technique for patience and calm. Thanks for sharing. I have also found it’s a great way to get into the present moment.

    • Optimommy May 22, 2012, 8:12 pm

      I agree and sometimes being in the present moment is all we need to put things back into a better perspective. Thank you for contributing your great insight Stefanie! Do drop by again soon. πŸ™‚

  • Stefanie May 22, 2012, 8:23 pm

    Your welcome and thank you for the reply.

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