It's not that I am a slow learner.
It's that I'm a fast forgetter.
-- AA Speaker
It had been a typically crazy couple of hours at work, and as adept as I can be now at keeping all the plates spinning, on that morning it felt like the universe was working against me: Go to send an email and the internet connection is down. Go to print a report and the printer is out of paper. Go to refill the ... out of... reach for ... knock over... you get the picture.
Every so often I would take several deep breaths and say the Serenity Prayer -- and I could absolutely feel my blood pressure reverse its ascent as I did. At one point I went to the rest room and said the 3rd Step prayer (though I had to pray fast -- there were just too many ticking clocks on me that morning. Another lesson from this job is that you can pray quickly and still be mindful of what you're sending out there to the Out There.)
And at one point, in the middle of all this, I had the clear thought that if I hadn't heard the suggestion to do these things about a thousand times over the years there is no way it would possibly occur to me to do them in those moments when I (really) need to.
I suppose they don't call it a spiritual practice for nothing.