Why practicing patience makes you smart.
Mindfulness and Authenticity
May 25, 2016
"Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you had in mind."
I don't know about you but patience is not something that comes naturally to me, and I need to be reminded of the above sentiment as much as possible.
I want to be able to do a muscle up NOW. I want to get to the front of the line NOW. And, the star of the show, I want to reach my full potential NOW.
I waste way too much time and energy thinking and worrying about my lack of progress (I know, first world problem).
I can get really worked up about it though, to the point where my internal panic starts to resemble something just shy of Chris Fleming’s mania as “Gayle” in “Company is Coming”.
The Universe just doesn’t work as fast as we want it to all the time. In fact, it doesn’t rush at all.
Look at nature: the grass doesn’t strain to grow, all the trees mature at their own pace, and my cats sleep 18 hours a day. Even ants, who seem to be manically working all the time, are orderly and at ease. They are more productive than most, but they are going at the pace that is comfortable for them, doing what they were made to do.
The cat doesn’t try to go at the ant’s pace. The cat doesn’t say, “ Wow, Ant is getting so much more done then me today.”
Nature doesn’t rush. It flows. Indigenous people seem to have a much better understanding of this than we do in the modern world.
Hank Wesselman, PhD, a paleoanthropologist and Shamanic teacher, discusses the Australian Aboriginals:
“They do not try to hurry things. They allow themselves to follow their natural courses, like the seasons, and they wait. Following the natural courses of existence removes worry from their life. They never worry. They know that in the practice of Dadirri- the deep listening and quiet stillness of the soul- all ways will be made clear to them in time. The Aboriginals never attempt to ‘push the river’ which they know with absolute certainty is an exercise in futility.”
We First Worlders have become separate and removed from this wisdom, and we need to return to it for both our individual and collective sanity and happiness in the modern world.
If we could only learn to trust in the flow that Hank is talking about, then we would be able to put our dreams in the hands of The Force, and allow them to emerge at their own pace.
Carl Honore’s book and wonderful Ted Talk entitled
In Praise of Slowness,
plots the lineage of our speed obsessed society. He talks about people around the world participating in the Slow Movement
which embodies all areas of culture from slow food to slow medicine to slow communication.
Carl celebrates people who have gotten in touch with their “Inner Tortoise”,
which I think, for lack of a better adjective, is the coolest!!
When I watched him speak, it was like he was giving me permission to slow down! According to Carl, that’s what smart, awake, successful people do.
Another guy who makes a great case for embracing patience and the flow is Steven Pressfield. Steven offers this inspirational advice regarding patience and career:
“The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career, but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work. He knows that any job, whether it’s a novel or a kitchen remodel, takes twice as long as he thinks and costs twice as much. He accepts that. He recognizes it as reality.
The professional steels himself at the start of a project, reminding himself it is the Iditarod, not the 60 yard dash. He conserves his energy. He prepares his mind for the long haul. He sustains himself with the knowledge that if he can just keep those huskies mushing, sooner or later the sled will pull in to Nome.
When I read between the lines of Steven’s passage I uncover something else just as important. I’m not sure if this is his intended message, but what I see is that the Professional TRUSTS his process. The Professional trusts that the FORCE is managing the time and that his job is to just diligently work along side it.
The FORCE chooses the WHEN.
The Force is dealing with the time so that we don’t have to worry about it!
All we have to do is just get to work. Whether we get to the end in record time is not up to us. Our job is to set the goal, get to work, and to let The Force take care of everything else.
This discovery alleviates mountains of pressure! No more striving and racing,
just trusting in the flow.
Elizabeth Gilbert says: The essential ingredients of creativity remain exactly the same for everyone: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, and TRUST.
I’m convinced that Trust and Patience are vital to the awakening of our unconscious mind. They make it easier for us to be present, more productive, more creative, more connected and more mindful.
Maya Angelou said: “All great achievements take time”.
So don’t fret. With a little trust and patience we’ll eventually pull into Nome…mindfully.
And that is what I discovered today.
Thank you so much for reading this!
See you tomorrow!
With love and gratitude,