The Power of Patience
You seek patience for awakening to a true course.
Patience has never been one of my strong suits. I'm known for a philosophy of stop waiting and start now. But this year has taught me to practice patience when I become uncomfortable with how it is. Instead of rushing into thought or action, I ponder what waiting would cost me. And I've discovered that it has no meaningful consequence when there's no need for haste. Instead of doing something just to be busy, I'm practicing patience to do the right things for this particular time. And if there is anything this year has given me, it's to find different avenues for my expression.
Waiting has its benefits. I'm finding new ways to connect. The old saying that necessity is the mother of invention propels me to look at what's possible instead of what's wrong.
Another benefit was to become more aware of where I placed my focus. At first, I focused on what I couldn't do, what was missing, and will this pandemic ever end!
The shift to patience happened slowly. It began with bargaining with who I am and taking a break from figuring out everything right now. That gave me time to slip through barriers set up in my mind where impatience exists. Impatience to get to a result, be fulfilled, and get things done. Instead of knocking down each barrier like a virtual reality game with force and power, I slowed down to understand what was happening in my inner world. A developing awareness came with waiting instead of acting. Nothing changed in my outer world; this was an inside job. I slowed down to be present with what's occurring in the moment, rather than having concern for the future.
Impatience focuses on the future. Patience focuses on the right now.
A presence grew that brought a feeling of freedom and joy. And surprisingly, resistance left, replaced by confidence that this too shall pass, by cheerfulness as a state of mind that brightens each day, by the clarity that we're in this together and in time we'll know more.
Patience is a strength that will last long after the pandemic. It allows me to listen longer, to be with someone just as they are, and to be with myself just as I am. Patience is teaching me to pause. A pause that restores strength. Steady and sure. Loving and kind.
I find patience in:
Picking a flower or cutting a piece of fruit to eat with love.
Doing the dishes and the laundry and daily chores.
Connecting with others in new ways that bring a deepening bond.
Speaking from the heart and listening with compassion.
Take some time and think about how you can use the power of patience to guide you in the New Year. Here's a simple ritual I use to call forth patience and a profound sense of awareness.
The ritual: In a quiet area, light a candle to symbolize the patience that dispels the darkness of doubt. With eyes gently resting on the flickering flame inhale slowly, and exhale slowly. Breathe in peace and exhale concern, and recite the following invocation:
"A quiet presence calls me inward. I get still and listen. The communion that follows stays with me throughout the day. I begin to see the difference between doing and being. I seek a deeper meaning and hear what I have not heard before. I give thanks for all that I hear. I give thanks for that which I have yet to see. I give thanks for all living things. I give thanks for my life, and I give thanks for my challenges, dreams, and life lessons. In this way, I find patience."
Change is near. Patience will prepare you to persevere and embrace the change.
Here's to a happy 2021.
May your day be peaceful and productively patient.
*The above ritual is adapted from the book “Rituals, Light for the Soul” by Michael Davis
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Paulette Sun Davis