Mindfulness at the coffeeshop

I wrote this piece a few years ago when I first started practicing mindfulness.

The other morning I was on the way to a training class for
my upcoming clinical placement. I stopped into this newish
coffee shop that had just opened around the corner. A typical
hipster joint so I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of
friendly service. However I was still rather shocked when
the young and expressionless barista abruptly raised her hand at me,
in a kind of ‘talk to the hand’ gesture, as I was giving my
order. Apparently, I had spoken out of turn. (According to
some new world social order in which barista’s held the
highest authority and us mere customers were supposed
to wait until spoken to before opening our mouths.)
It took me a second to register what had just happened. My
internal dialogue went something like this, “Did she just
raise her hand at me, essentially treating me like a child?
Did I just see that?” My first instinct was to say something
in order to voice my sense of righteous indignation, but
instead, I stopped. And asked myself the question, “What is
really going on for me here, right now?” And, I observed that
my heart rate was going a little faster, and I could feel
my cheeks get a little hotter. In other words, I was pissed
off. In that one simple gesture, she had made me feel like
I was about 3 feet tall.
So I let it go. Somehow, simply acknowledging my anger and
just sitting with it for a few seconds, it had lost its
sting. And then I thought, is this what they call being
mindful. Is this mindfulness in action? Well, if it is I guess it
works. I had been attempting to learn meditation over
the last few weeks and up until that moment, I had thought
it wasn’t having any effect at all, but maybe it was…

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