One of my favorite rituals is drawing oracle cards in the morning for insight into my day or when I’m faced with a challenging situation and need some extra guidance. The past few weeks the “patience” card keeps coming up for me. And every time I sigh with frustration and resignation. I feel like a little kid when my mom would say to me, “You can have everything you want, just not all at once…”
I have a tendency to want all of my dreams to come true NOW. And I have a tendency to mistake patience for waiting.
Patience and waiting look similar and are completely different animals on the inside. Waiting is what we do when we know something is coming our way; it’s outside of us—like the mail or our order at a restaurant. Waiting is a disembodied mental activity that says, “I know it’s comin’ so I’m just gonna sit here.”
Waiting feels and looks like inertia, it’s void of life and energy. Patience, on the other hand, is vital, life-filled. Patience is something our bodies know.
Just look at the card from the Osho oracle deck…doesn’t look like she’s just waiting around, does it?
Patience is so very feminine. Our rhythms and cycles can never be hurried and anyone who has ever had a late/early/absent period knows this. There is no rushing the body similar to the fact that there is no rushing nature. Can you imagine hurrying a snake? Or a tree? Or a storm? It’s just not happening.
And this is where practicing patience is a spiritual practice. It’s a process of stepping into the fertile void of our bodies and souls– the place where the good stuff incubates within until the perfect time of birthing.
As opposed to waiting to receive something from outside us, patience is about allowing the process within our cells and within the cosmos to unfold, knowing, sensing that it’s already happening. Right. This. Second.
Patience knows that if we allow our minds to sync up with the pace of our bodies, we would be a lot more at ease with the flow of our lives. Particularly when our hopes, dreams, and desires seem so close and so far.
It’s not a coincidence that I keep being reminded about patience. I recently left a salaried, full-time job as a psychotherapist at a mental health center to venture out on my own. I’m in the exciting, daunting, terrifying, and nourishing process of building my own business, setting my own schedule, and trying to listen to what the hell I’m supposed to be doing on a daily basis to get this baby birthed.
It’s not uncommon that I wake up in the middle of the night with the “Oh god, what am I doing?” mantra floating around my mind. And the answer is that I’m cooking. I’m cooking this business that is much less a thing outside of me as it is an extension of myself, a representation of what I’ve been cultivating throughout my life.
This process of incubation, for my poor left-brain analytical mind, is excruciating. I can’t see what’s happening, I have to feel it. And I know that the only way to truly live this life is through trust in my soul’s unfolding just this way, so I continue. Step by step. With patience…. And good friends.
A practice that I’m using at this time of transition is to return to my body and feel the seed that is unfolding within. Here’s what I do:
Notice the state of your mind, body and emotions in this moment (for me I’m often in the impatience realm to some degree when I do this practice—a little anxious, a shadow of worry, slightly tense)
Bring your attention to the areas of your body that are just below the skin, imagining all your sensors turning inwards
Slowly, with patience, allow your attention to sink in and rest in your stomach (or wherever it takes you within your body, trust that you know how to do this)
Feel the sensations here when you arrive (usually my body starts to release slightly and I feel more grounded)
From this place within, notice what’s happening in your body, what is unfolding within you today that needs no hurrying along, that is on its own schedule
At your own pace, return to your day while staying connected to this place within you that knows how to be in sync with your own internal clock
Feel free to return to this internal anchor throughout your day, as a reminder to drop into the wisdom of your own timing
I would love to hear your thoughts about this practice, about patience, and perfect timing. Pass them along and no hurry.
Kathryn is one of our Featured Women at TWN!
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