I’m always trying to learn things like patience and respect. I am consciously aware that a lot of the time I am impatient and disrespectful, so I have made learning these things a conscious priority.
I try and assign a mantra to each day: be respectful, be patient. But what does that mean, really? I record successes and failures in a journal at the end of the day if I remember. The mantra usually comes to surface in one or two situations a day, so I record these. Remembered to be patient in the bus line-up. Sat still instead of getting up while someone was talking to me, for example.
But this morning, somewhere between my cereal and coffee, I had an insight. I don’t know why. I felt impatient, and didn’t want to start my day off that way. It was an insight that had surely been floating around my head for a while, but to which I had paid no attention. It was something I maybe gleaned from yoga, from talks about the environment, from manners. The insight was you are a guest.
I am guest in my own body. I am a guest on this earth. I am a guest in my house and in my room and in my clothes. I am a guest at school and on the bus and in a conversation with my friend. Everybody and everything are always inviting me in, I just need to remember that I’ve been invited.
This mantra took over my other ones today because it encapsulated them all. Whenever I returned to the mantra I had a chance to reevaluate myself. Am I moving with respect? Am I thanking people? Am I allowing others to lead? Am I stepping lightly on my part of the earth? Though the mantra came to me less often than it will tomorrow or the next day as I practice it, it actually helped me in a few moments.
I remembered I was a guest as I moved quickly and clumsily through the world. I slowed down. I watched my arms. I listened to my legs before I moved them.
I remembered I was a guest when I sat in a First Nations Longhouse thing this morning. I listened and reflected on the stories. I introduced myself and shared where I came from.
I remembered I was a guest when I came home to a house that I share and that is being shared with me. I had conversations even though I was hungry.
The mantra also helped me assert myself. I realized I am a guest here, so I must be a good guest, a fun guest. A guest who contributes something. A guest who you would like to invite back.
Thank you for coming as guests to my blog. I am a guest of WordPress, of the blogsophere, of the internet. I move respectfully and patiently through it, though not very patiently.