When I brew tea poorly, my first response is frustration with myself. "I've wasted this pot of tea! I've wasted my time!" I scold myself. I'm quick to frustration and slow on patience. But I'm trying a new approach... I ask myself, "Frustration or Compassion?"
When I approach my poor brewing (a metaphor for life) in a compassionate way, I have permission to go a little deeper and explore slowly. I'll ask myself why I was in a hurry, not paying attention, or lacking skills. Do I need to make space for the tea and put aside distractions (be in the moment?) Do I need to prioritize and focus on the other tasks and return to tea when I have the proper time for it? Do I need more practice? Is this a new tea, a new pot/bowl/gaiwan, a new brewing technique, etc.?
With compassionate thinking, I give myself gentleness. Surely, if I can learn to do this with myself in my tea brewing, I can expand it to the rest of my life. And from there, it's an extension to the world.