This week I continued to meditate. I highlighted this in the last post but I find that listening to different meditations while going about my day has been helpful. This practice has made me more aware when I get stressed or irritable about something. More importantly the practice grounds me prior to doing something.
Hey did I tell you that I am going to China? I am actually going to China via Sweden. It all started when my friend / old-coworker asked me to be his best man in his wedding. I was kind of surprised about the whole thing. I get to think about what I will say for a speech. I have been fortunate to give a best man’s speech in the past but never in China when most of the attendees are Chinese speakers. I get to be mindful of the cultural aspects too. Your advice is appreciated.
I am also stopping in Sweden along the way as I have been planning to visit a company that I work very closely with. I am looking forward to the 1.5 week adventure that begins this Monday evening.
Back to the goal. On Monday I went to the Chinese Consulate to apply for my visa. The application process made me a bit anxious. I probably should not have waited till the last week prior to going as it takes four days to get processed. It’s not that difficult its just time consuming and I have flashbacks from the last time I applied for a Chinese Visa in 2010. The last time I applied I waited for like one hour and when I finally presented all the necessary information and I was told that I did not have enough pages on my passport. I had to get a new passport in order to get the visa. Fortunately being in NYC it was not overly difficult to get a new passport in one day.
This time I was prepared and made sure that I had all the necessary information. On the way via bus / subway I listened to some meditations in order to get me grounded. I also predicted that there may be a wait time. I had hoped to arrive for the first thing in the morning but didn’t make it there till the afternoon with work and other commitments. Sure enough the line was out the door and it was raining. Instead of getting flustered, I continued to listen to some meditation and focused on breathing. I will be honest, it was really hard to stay focused as the consulate was really busy and lacked any sense of organization. At least this was my experience. I continued to breath and think about that this issue is a first world problem and to focus on enjoying the day. One of the meditations spoke about gratitude. I was almost successful in keeping it together until one of the reviewers said I was missing a copy of my hotel reservation. I told the reviewer that my friend booked the hotel. She immediately responded and said that I either get an invitation letter from my friend or I present a hotel reservation.
I panicked a bit but was determined to get the visa application submitted. I frantically ran to the nearest hotel lobby/business center in which I could get wifi access; quickly make a hotel reservation; printed it out; ran back to submit the forms. The consulate is on 42nd and the West Side Highway. I had to do this in under 40 minutes. I was able to do this in time but it was not graceful. This is where I panic and need to shift. I could have enjoyed the adventure as opposed to just running and being mad at myself for missing this information.
On Wednesday I had a busy day scheduled and wanted to get a gym class in prior to taking on the day. There was a 6:00 AM class that I was hoping to take. I don’t love the class but its nearby and I could get back to my apartment rather quickly. The main reason is that over the years this time slot has been unreliable with changes in instructors, start times and teachers canceling classes, without subs, etc. I decided to give it a chance since it had gotten better as I had attended it a few times over the past months. When I got to the class I noticed that other people were doing their own exercises. After a minute I went to the front desk and they told me that the teacher had cancelled at 5:30 AM without a sub. I immediately had included all of the other evidence about this time slot and got upset. I went back to the studio grabbed my stuff and left the gym. I went back to the front desk to express my frustration saying that this has happened a lot over the years. The poor front desk people felt bad as they had to deal with other upset members. There was probably a valid reason for why the instructor missed the class. The sad part is if I had just shifted I could have still gotten a workout on my own or even with the other people who were in the studio. Instead I rushed out. After about 15 minutes I did shift and went for a quick run. I get to work on shifting more quickly in situations like this.
I spoke to my buddy and small group about this and they suggested I come up with something that will allow me to catch myself. Maybe like that Kathy – Mar Mar moment. Creatrice de Bijoux actually suggested a song that her young daughter listens to which sounded perfect. I wrote it down but I don’t have it handy right now to recall at this moment.
On Thursday I returned to the Chinese Consulate to pick up my Visa and meditated again to ground myself. I managed to keep it together despite wanting to “hulk out”as the place seemed to have no order. Really, it is fine as they process a lot of visas, and other documents each day. I continued my breathing exercises and was able to make the one hour to pick up the visa a good experience.
I continued on my second goal of reading more books – preferably inspiring ones. I am doing this either through reading the book or listening to it on Audible. I am becoming more conscious that I have this option to either read the book or listen to it. I have been reading on the subway during my commutes and listening in the car.
I am going to try to read a bit more prior to go to sleep. However, I am usually tired. I do believe that reading will help me wind down.
Happy Saturday everyone!