Picture this everyday situation. Sitting behind the steering wheel, your car stuck in heavy traffic, in the slower, middle lane on the way to work, waiting…..and feeling frustrated, watching the cars whizz by in the multi-passenger lane. A splendid example of impatience. Give me half an hour in a car with someone, driving around town, and I bet I can tell you a lot about the way that person approaches many life situations.
Today though the topic is impatience. And isn’t just on the road either. I realise how the speed of the internet has trained me to expect faster and faster downloading and how impatient I sometimes feel when the download process is held up. We are definitely ‘driven’ in so many circumstances, everyday. I just find the road driving to be one of the more challenging of my good nature!
Energetically speaking, our body systems have a yin and yang component. When what is known as the ‘yin of the Liver’ becomes deficient, one loses the ability to ‘withdraw and retreat’ (*Hammer, L. 1997). This is possibly another way of describing impatience. When we lose this withdrawal tendency we lose the opportunity to take a step back, breathe, relax and recover our sensibilities and perspective. Without this renewal time we will tend to over-rev our engines (nervous systems) and over time run our health and wellbeing into the ground. This yin deficiency is commonly a result of emotional stress over time, eating hurriedly, whilst working, or repeatedly eating whilst in an agitated state.
This appears so prevalent nowadays, at least to my observations of the world around me. Whereas a generation or two ago we were familiar with having to persevere and work towards eventualities and wait for various things to transpire, today is less about patience and more about instant gratification. This is probably not a wonderful development, as we are not developing the resilience which lies cradled within forebearance.
Traditional Chinese Medicine developed ways and means, namely acupuncture and Chinese herbal preparations, which work on nourishing this essential yin energy of the liver (qi). I like to utilise a counselling approach as well (making this a three-pronged strategy), as I find it useful to assist my clients to increase their level of self-awareness around their habitual responses to everyday events. These responses are so familiar to us we barely recognise them. Many clients also need advice around eating habits. How one eats is as crucial as what one eats.
Hammer, L. (1997). Out of My Head and Into My Heart. In MacPherson, H. and Kaptchuk T., Acupuncture in Practice.