Day 92 – Inoculate yourself for Impatience

Inoculations don’t always have to involve needles.

When high level bodyguards and the secret service are training new recruits, they will often subject them to short bursts of high-stress scenarios.  Perhaps someone might jump out of a hallway and fire a clip of blanks form a semi-automatic.  Or let the new-hires linger for 12 second expecting a malfunctioning grenade to go off.  Eventually, lightning reactions to extreme stress situations are carefully trained, and the compulsion to freak out is bred out of them.

This process is called ‘Stress Inoculation’

The process by which an organism is Inoculated is simple.  A small, benign sample of a virus is introduced into the body, causing an immune reaction and a preparation for the real thing.  The body ‘gets a taste’ for the virus without the injection causing any real harm.

Consider this idea applied to destructive qualities in oneself.

“Exposure therapy” is a common practice for treating phobias.  The patient will be introduced to their phobia in a controlled, minimized way.  They face their terror head on and prepare themselves for encounters with the real thing.  They are being inoculated to their fear.

Experiment time: how long can you watch and icecube melt before your “this is stupid” alarm begins to sound?  How long can you do something completely trivial and utterly pointless before you fly into a rage or dismiss the activity completely.  Shakti Gwain suggested the exercise of placing 50 paperclips in a pile and one by one placing them slowly into a box, then dumping the box out again, as a way to ‘inoculate yourself to impatience’.  

Of course it is not simply the doing that is important.  This is what separates viral inoculations from psychic ones.  In the case of polio or the mumps, you just get a needle.  You don’t have to think about it, the machinations of your biology take care of the rest.

But how long can you sit with your impatience and be ok with that feeling?  Not fighting it, or hating yourself for feeling it, but simply being with it and being ok with that state?  In this way you inoculate yourself to impatience.  You are exposing yourself to the feeling of being totally ticked off cause something is not going fast enough, in a safe environment that wont hurt anyone (except maybe your ego)


Consider exposing yourself to small doses of your own faults and reactivities.  You may even become immune!


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