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Light Pause

Anticipation ... Frustration ... Tension ...

Stopped at a traffic light, when it looks like it's about to turn green the hand goes to the gearshift knob, the foot starts to press the clutch pedal, the eyes scan for cross traffic, the car begins to inch forward. Almost a reflex. Likewise in conversation. And when a project deadline looms. And ...

So in recent months, a tiny experiment: if the light is red, hold palms of hands together in front of heart, a "namaste" gesture. Maybe others think it's prayer, or isometric exercise. No matter! Try not to plan ahead quite so much. Less tightness, trembling, forward-leaning. Simply be. "Waiting Is." Watchful, alert, poised. Holding — ready and calm — in the moment. Attention.

Far easier to say than do. But coincidental happy discovery: a recent essay by Corey Jackson, "Traffic lights and emotional balance", on an Australian site called "Living Dharma". Jackson begins:

Imagine being stopped at a red light, waiting to go through the intersection. The turn arrow goes green and there is an impulse to take your foot off the brake and get going, but you manage to stay put. This is an example of response inhibition and it's a skill that can be developed to improve almost every aspect of our emotional lives.

Fascinating, perhaps useful, certainly different, possibly crucial ...

(cf. Processes not Goals (2014-02-20), ...) - ^z - 2015-03-21