Patience. Some people just pull out that famous quote “patience is a virtue” without even thinking about why it is that we need to show forbearance in our life and why it is that we even crave that need for immediate gratification. Patience is a difficult lifelong practice that requires complete awareness and acceptance.
We are raised to believe that people who are successful have their shit together. Truth is, almost no-one does. Feeling at peace and happy with self and reality is a lifelong practice, and for many, the need to arrive at this place of “having shit together” is an urgency. Things take time.
Think about a large, stable, grounded tree. Chances are, it took hundreds of years to attain that grandeur, yet it showed no urgency to get to that place. Little seeds planted in the ground take weeks to be full grown and ready to harvest. Young birds take time to learn how to fly out of the nest. Stars take billions of years to form and die. Nature is slow and purposeful, yet she always gets where she needs to be. We are just as much a part of nature as any other organism on this earth, and so, we too need to take our time to get where we need to be.
Without patience, we develop stress in our lives. We are in a constant state of discomfort as we feel that we don’t have enough, we don’t do enough, and we aren’t getting to where we need to be. It is a toxic behavior that can obstruct that sense of connection with the true self. The true self is patient and calm, and turning inward, we can access that. When we are always rushing, we never have the time to slow down and tap into that space inside that creates a sense of okay-ness with where we are in our lives. The practice, is slowing down, and tuning into our heart centers where we can find patience and acceptance no matter where we are and what we are doing.
Why should we be patient?
What even is impatience? Its the feeling that you aren’t going fast enough compared to the things around you. Or sometimes its the feeling that things around you aren’t moving to your desired speed. Either way, impatience is this constant fight with the flow of time, and unfortunately, we are unable to control the speed of things. Although this would be really convenient, we must learn to move as time is intended to move and accept the way that things are happening.
Often times, lack of impatience is accompanied by this feeling of unhappiness with our lives in the present moment as it is. Being patient is entering this space of calmness and purity, and accepting that the way things are in this very moment are exactly as they should be. Being patient is feeling content and grounded, not feeling this constant need to be doing something or to get somewhere.
Now, patience should not be mistaken for stagnation and laziness. Being patent does mean that we need to sit on the couch and just wait for things to go as planned. Its actively working towards something while still understanding that sometimes that destination is not attained right on schedule. Patience Is realizing that you can’t plant a seed in the ground and expect it to bear fruit the very next day while watering it and caring for it until it is ready to do so.
People that struggle with impatience often give up easily as they feel their time is being wasted, or that nothing is ever going to happen. Planting that same seed, impatience can be modeled as digging the seed back up every few minutes to see if it has started to germinate, and then after a half hours throwing it away because its not happening as fast as you think it should. In reality, this may be working out and eating healthy but then giving up as you realize that after two days of this lifestyle, you don’t have your bikini bod.
Purposeful, beautiful, lasting things take time.
My Struggle with impatience.
One of the biggest things that I have to practice living with on a daily basis is impatience. I yearn so badly to help others with my words, to contribute to people’s lives in a meaningful way, to provide for myself using all of my passions and skills. I don’t always have the awareness that, in this moment, I don’t have the tools that I need to do all of these things. It is a challenge for me really experience the journey and accept where I am in the present moment.
This blog and personal business are the biggest challenge of patience for me. It takes effort for me to accept where I am with this project in my life, to trust that one day, with all of the hard work that I put into it, I will be able to support myself off of it. It’s hard for me to feel like I’m not wasting my time and I often feel as if it’s never going to work, but It takes time to grow a following of genuine people who care and believe in your message.
I have worked a handful of different jobs and I have always felt miserable in them. I refuse to do anything that I don’t want to do. What is a life of days filled with emotionally and physically painful activities? I don’t want to live like that. I currently nanny, tutor math, and teach an occasional yoga class as a means to pay the bills. Although these things are not unbearable, I don’t want to watch children for a living for the rest of my life. It takes patience and hard work for me to continue to pay the bills and continue to grow my blog while still tending to my self- love practice.
I also struggle to be patient with others. I always feel like the world isn’t moving fast enough for the pace at which I’m going and this creates anger and frustration with other people. It is a practice for me to be patient with others, to breath through situations that may “slow me down” and think about how the other person is struggling too.
Being patient with others is one of the biggest displays of mental clarity and compassion.
I will be practicing patience with you guys this week, but for the rest of my life as well.
5 daily practices to promote patience
Meditation is truly the greatest practice that aids in all mental struggles. There is nothing like the act of sitting down arriving in the present moment in your body in this space, and turning in.
For patience, the breath can help us get out of our heads and out of the thoughts of being rushed or craving something to happen right away. Sitting down and listening to the breath is a great tool to drop the self-inflicted stress by urgency to slow down and realize that where you are, the pace you’re going, it is enough.
- Find a comfortable seat with a long spine, roll the shoulders back, and close the eyes. Or find yourself in savasana (corpse pose)
- Begin to turn into the breath, listen to the sound it makes, feel the rise and fall of the belly, maybe begin to internally count your breaths, completely guide your awareness to this natural thing your body does
- As thoughts come up, let them go. Put them onto a little cloud and let them float away. Let go of those thoughts of impatience and replace them with the silence and purity of simple existence
- Offer yourself a mantra of patience and grounding and repeat it throughout your meditation practice
- I am enough
- Where I am is enough
- I will get there someday
For example; this can be done by breathing in “I am” and breathing out “enough” over and over again. Focus on this mantra using your breath to guide you through it.
Pick the longest line:
I know when I am feeling impatient that I rush around my day internally boiling with anger because I don’t think the world is going fast enough for the pace at which I am moving. Im a big culprit of choosing the shortest line at the grocery store when I feel impatient and then moving from line to line as I feel them move quicker or slower. Sometimes it’s nice to pick a line, breath, smile, and wait your turn, after all…You and your itinerary are not more important than everyone else’s in line!
Maybe instead of focusing on how rushed you are and how frustrating it is to be in a slow moving line you can think about the others in this situation as well. Maybe the cashier is having difficulties behind the register, maybe a mother is struggling to get her cash out while holding her crying child, whatever the case may be, have some compassion for the others around you.
Positive, selfless, and present thinking manifests positive events to unroll right in front of you.
Wait before you buy something:
It’s really easy to feel impatient when you are buying something new. You crave that object to be in your hands, to wear it, to use it, you can’t live without it. Sometimes it’s nice to slow down and separate yourself from the material world. For many modern Americans, material things control their life, and with patience we can prevent consuming from controlling us.
The next time you are at the grocery store and you find yourself wanting something that is unnecessary, put it down and think. Do you really want this item? Will it really make you happy? Is this emotional shopping? Take a day or two to think about it. If your buying something for the wrong reasons, it won’t feel good, and when we are in a rush to do so, we can make mistakes. Don’t trade your hard earned money in for something that won’t positively contribute to a fulfilling life.
If you find that you really need something in your life that you could live without but it could make it easier. Take your time to think about it and make the right choice. Buying a life helping tool can be a big and important purchase, so take your time to do the research and compare items.
Daily intention setting:
Setting intentions for my day is my favorite thing to do. It enables me to write down on paper my focus for the day to look back on. I tend to have my head in the clouds all of the time thinking about the future and all of the things I want to do that I grow impatient and forget to live in the moment. Coming back to the intention I set for myself is helpful for me to remember that what I am doing here and now is important, and it is enough.
One way that set daily intention is list making. Although not technically an “intention” in the spiritual sense, writing lists is a purposeful way to tell yourself all of things you desire to accomplish in a day. Of course, be reasonable about the size of the projects and the time needed to complete them.
After my list is complete, I look back and I set a general intention or focus for the day. This may be things like “I intend to be patient with myself”, “I intend to live in the present moment”, “I intend to let go of expectations”, “I intend to take care of my mind and body”.
Wake up each morning and write down your list and daily intention in a journal to come back to throughout the day. You can also get yourself a planner and do that in there, I personally love my Ohh Deer daily planner that has a great template for daily planning along with daily focuses and projects!
Give yourself time:
Another really great way to practice patience is to give yourself enough time in your day for activities and tasks. A big trigger for feeling impatient is constantly feeling like you don’t have enough time. This feeling of lack of time may promote a sense of urgency throughout your day. So feeling grounded, calm, and abundant with time can be a good way to create patience and acceptance for time as it is.
One of the best ways to do this is to wake up early. Waking up early gives you, obviously, more time in your day to accomplish all of things on your to do list. Feeling like you have more time to get something done or to be somewhere on time is a great way to prevent feeling like you’re in a constant fight with time. Another way to give yourself time is not to under budget your time for projects.