Patience: The Opportunity Cultivator
How often are you frustrated, upset, angry, sad or overcome with emotions?
Ever noticed that getting upset and losing your patience makes things worse?
Are you ready to instead take back control of your body, heart and mind? Embrace life, cultivating patience, even radical acceptance, and open the door on opportunity?…
Patience and frustration seem to be a tricky seesaw to balance at times. Especially when you find yourself wanting what you want, how you want it, NOW! … and, well, life just doesn’t work like that.
Frustration is the sign that you’re experiencing delayed gratification of sorts. You know it; that feeling when your needs – whatever they are – aren’t getting met in the time frame you have in mind and they sure aren’t being delivered the way you want.
This feels beyond inconvenient, doesn’t it? Especially since you and I live in a modern world where if you don’t get an instant text reply or an email in a couple of hours we wonder what on earth is going on. We don’t like to wait; not in lines (though psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach has mentioned that a study of our culture says we spend 11 days doing so a year!). Neither do we like to wait for a delivery, nor for a date or friend to show up, or for results or any desired outcomes. Certainly, not for internet connection or Wi-Fi signal. Then there’s waiting for food, for sex, for comfort, for recognition and praise, for ease and peace.
Dare I say many of us have grown increasingly impatient with day to day life despite having more machines and technological advancements to help make things run smoother. None of which can make our internal world and our reactions or responses any different if we don’t take back control of our own body, heart and mind.
What if it doesn’t have to be this way? What if you don’t need to get upset, frustrated, angry, or impatient? And instead can learn to cultivate inner calm, a sense of ease, grace, peace. Almost like awakening the Buddha within you; your most powerfully poised self.
As someone who’s joked with a great love bestie for over a decade that Patience is one of our major life missions, #PathLife as I’ve texted her when I’m determined to see the lighter side of not getting what I wanted how and when I wanted it. I thought perhaps you’ve been here too with your own #PathLife moments. When we are committed to walking a spiritual path but that doesn’t mean it’s all sage sticks and lotus blossoms. It means every day we are faced with new challenges and each day we are meeting them with an open heart and mind, even a sense of humour at times and, with patience.
So, I felt it rather apt to dive into this concept of Cultivating Patience with you. Because if we are going to be real and honest, we’ve all been there. We may also have experienced even a fleeting moment of embodying patience. Just enough to give us a hint of how different life can be if only we would flow with this. With every moment of life even.
The concept of planting the seedling to seeing the oak tree grow is a process. It requires time. It requires us to wait for creation to work its magic. For manifestation to go from a lightning bolt flash of inspiration or an idea to a physical object we can tangibly use. We not only have to intellectually get that all things take time, we need to reach a point of acceptance by being ok with how things are. Particularly be ok with those things that we can’t control.
Instead of being like a little child saying “No! I want that toy now” because they don’t want to wait to have their desires met. The child wants instant gratification. This child is the personality nature – your personality. We can drop into that petulant child nature, or at times the selfish teenager or, the ignorant desire driven adult in these moments. They are all personality; lower nature reactions. In these moments we need to instead learn to listen to our highest nature; our most alignment, poised and composed self. Let’s call it Soul. Which talks to us with loving kindness, compassion, humility and non-judgment. Like the inner wise owl whose been there done that more a billion-fold and knows far better than to waste time and energy gripping onto the old outdated ways of reacting to life.
One of those outdated ways you may notice you grip onto is projecting a lack of patience. This causes harm to you and harm to others. It can affect your heart, your mind, your physical body. We often see this when we feel it is someone else’s fault that all this is happening. Someone is sick, late, or busy so they can’t help you. Someone didn’t take off fast enough at the traffic lights so you’re stuck there waiting for another couple of minutes. Someone didn’t or did do something and now it’s affecting you and your plans, schedule, way of doing things, comfort, ease, flow, vision…
Ever noticed the more attached you are to your way of being or doing things the more irritated you are when someone or something changes?
How do you deal with that?
Is your default to react? Lose patience? I’ve been there too.
Sometimes when the world and the people in it don’t do what we want, expect, need or ask for we take it personally. It can also feel like an attack or sabotaging of our efforts to control. You can end up feeling hard done by, personally inflicted or wounded and sabotaged – by someone, or something, by God or the Universe, by the Powers That Be etc. But I want to you to know there is a better way to see this and flow with it.
Flow being the key word. Because there’s no emotional suppression here – so this doesn’t mean you ever supress your frustrations. Instead it is in learning the art of healthy processing that you can shift from anger or highs and lows of emotions, to acknowledging what is going on, feeling into it and working with it. Not letting it take over you like the puppet master and you as the puppet. Part of cultivating patience is also your innate knowing of when to hold on, when to act, and when to let go.
Buddha called Patience “perfection of the heart”. It is a demonstration of compassion and a key spiritual quality that weaves perfectly with the expression of our true nature.Buddha taught us that these feelings of discontent when we are wanting life to be something it’s not, (for it to be different, the fear that something is wrong or will go wrong) are not isolated, they are universal. Which means we all have these feelings.
Being patient does not mean you no longer have strong emotions, neither does cultivating patience deny unpleasantness or uncomfortable moments and experiences. Cultivating patience means in that challenging moment you have the ability to make the choice to accept and face the situation; the tension, anxiety, stress, discomfort, challenge etc.
Western psychology calls this “affect tolerance”. Where you have the ability to experience the intense feelings of that moment and do not become overwhelmed or disassociate yourself from it. In esoteric psychology, we also refer to cultivating mind control (we like the heart mind synthesis. As the love of heart and the wisdom of mind work hand in hand, in all facets of life.)
Cultivating mind control which we call will power means intellectually and rationally telling ourselves, “no part of me really wants to let my impatience take me over right now”. We want to raise that default pattern to higher ground. To use your mind to decide not your personality nature to react. When you can come from mind with heart, instead of dropping into the reactionary losing control ways, you can change your default patterns, your cycle, your out-dated habits. If you can break that habit and use will power to catch yourself from dropping into frustration, anger, or however impatience manifests for you, you can begin to take back control over your body, your emotions and your thoughts.
Patience is a strength. It is an admirable quality and an ability that once you have cultivated a few times you begin to not only sense a shift, you can see it, you know it. You FEEL it is how you want to respond to life and how you want to live your life.
This all starts with recognising the feeling of frustration or upset that is arising – while knowing the environment and other people aren’t going to conform to your expectations, wants or whim. So, it is YOU in this moment who chooses to change your reaction to a response. This is the response of the MIND not the reaction of the PERSONALITY. This mind response is one of will power. Harnessing your innate ability to become aware of your body, your emotions, your thoughts;
Are you tense? Short of breath? Flustered? Panicky? Have an angry voice in your head saying things you wouldn’t dare say out loud?
Then, begin the alchemy of turning impatience into patience. From fiery aggravation gripping to soothing flowing release.
One simple go to practice is learning to gage these moments when they first start to bubble up. Soon as you feel it coming on.
Take a deep full breath – or 10; inhale belly expanding like a Buddha, exhale letting it all go.
You can also say you need a moment if you are with someone or on a call etc. You can go for a walk. Close your eyes for abit if you are in a safe space to do so. Step back from the desk to get some fresh air. Stretch, move, get a drink of water. Reconnect to your inner core in a way you know how. We are helping you create a moment in time to have the space to allow the emotions to subside and the mind and heart talk to bring you back to a point of harmony. A point of rationality, of calm, of peace; of what can be changed and what can be accepted.
Perseverance and Tolerance – The ability to continue on and flow, not crumble under pressure helps build your tolerance. Just like working a specific set of muscles at the gym two or three times a week. After three to four weeks you will strengthen what was once weaker. If you also work like this with your emotional and mental bodies, not just your physical body, over time you can develop the perseverance and tolerance toward those unmet wants and desires and, the unresolved fears. The gift you gain is patience and essentially, inner peace. Where you can alchemise your entire life into a state of calm even when surrounded by chaos.
Some key reminders to cultivating patience and radical acceptance;
Let go, Flow – What if we release instead of grip? What if we don’t fight what we think is a tidal wave and instead flow with the nature of things? What we refer to esoterically as the Laws of the Matter, the Logos and essentially this Universe.
The Intention of Patience – Day to day, moment to moment, reminding yourself that “I can do all that I can do then I surrender to the Grand Plan, to the Powers that be, to what can see the whole playing field and knows better than my tiny niche perspective.”
Asking What REALLY Matters – Have you ever stopped and asked yourself “does this really matter? In the scheme of things and all I’ve been through and will experience, does this REALLY matter?”
I’ve asked myself this, countless times. Some of you may know I started writing a novel 16 years ago, and while I’ve finished writing I’ve also spent some of those years trying to find the right literary agent to thus find the right publisher to get that book in my hand and ideally yours too! I’ve flown across the country, had meetings and connections with people from Sydney to Paris and London to New York … some leading nowhere, some talking a big game never delivering, some wanting me to make changes I wasn’t prepared to – mainly turning RUNWAY from a female heroine’s story of the unglamorous fashion world to finding spiritual substance into a non-fiction Elise Carr story of my personal experience in the modelling world. It seemed irrelevant to the heart and soul of the message when the book is already 70% my life. So I turned that offer down.
Months became years and again I’m currently re-re-sending off submission letters and revised sample chapters to more agents in New York. With each rejection letter that has come back that used to sadden or disappoint me I would ask “does this really matter?” My answer was always “no”. Does it hurt that they don’t see what I see? Does it bother me that all I get is responses saying “the writing is great but it misses more drama.” “Despite its many charms, we can’t wholeheartedly connect” and hundreds of other emails each with their perspective and opinions. My personality used to get a blow. But my core, my inner being, my heart, my high mind, my soul knows these to be hints and suggestions – some that I chose to take on board, weave into the manuscript even, and others I let go.
Things will constantly come up to test patience, will power and our radical acceptance of what is. Though what I remind myself in this instance is that with my intention of the right literary agent and publisher coming when the time is right, along with my courage, perseverance, tolerance and will power to keep showing up and keep sending the manuscript out, I will keep going. Knowing what really matters is key.
With this project like many things we commit to in life, it means doing the work. It also offers an opportunity for constant learning. By showing up like this, flowing with what is and changing what we can skills can also improve and even take leaps and bounds. For me, my writing has improved in various ways in the last decade even from this project. And my belief that the right person will come is still strong – will this be in my time frame and how I want? Clearly not. I had to drop that some years ago now. There is no set timeframe I hold onto anymore. But I have an innate conviction that the right people will come and I will be ready, open, willing and able to work and flow with them.
For now, each moment is a reminder of not gripping onto unrealistic expectations…and sometimes beholding no expectations at all other than being open to the potential and possibilities that I may not even have factored in yet.
Ever considered you may not know all the possibilities you could be shutting down if you grip too tightly to what you think is right? Releasing that. Opening. Finding your patient flow is a game changer
Of all that can distract, fluster, take your energy, your time and make you tested to your core… what really matters to you?
What outdated expectations and time frames are you holding onto?
What reactionary habits – which hurt you and hurt those closest to you are times – do you keep repeating?
Can you take a moment to really sit with these muddy questions and get real with yourself and see what is one area you can begin to work on?
All the while knowing…
This too shall pass. When we are swimming in our frustration like I was years ago with my novel RUNWAY, my mum would gently try remind me of patience. In fact, she even suggested this topic because she too has noticed we are all so busy being in a hurry we have lost touch with our true Self. What I call the Soul. As a result, we make no room for true spiritual growth. For the mind is in constant chatter, the emotions are up and down and all around engulfing us and thus the physical body has no core harmony. And this is just touching on how our lack of patience is affecting our lives. For many people this ripples out into every single moment of every single day.
Thus, I want to pause here and ask why ARE we in such a hurry exactly? Is it a race to the finish line of this life, and thus to reach death (in this form)? I don’t think that is your ultimate aim. It’s definitely not mine.
What about also asking yourself;
What am I afraid of?
What am I fearful or worried about happening if I don’t get this or that, or get it done fast enough, or reach this goal or whatever it may be?
Where does this fear, worry, anxiety, stress, come from?
Can I explore this and understand the causes for my reactions or habits, patterns and cycles?
Then, am I willing to let it go and find a calmer approach to life?
What are ALL my options here?
We often feel there is much to do, achieve, see, experience, accomplish, attain, manifest, create and there is finite time to do it in. This can be arguable. What we can say is that yes, we have things to do and yes, we only have the time we have. The journey, how we walk the Path and find our Way however, is up to us.
Minute to minute, each moment never coming back or no moment ever the same. It is irreplaceable, finite, precious and beautiful. The true beauty of life can only be revealed to us when we slow, soften and open to see all there is to see. Not push and force and fight our way into the future so we can get there already. You are HERE already. Be here, now.
Work on cultivating the presence, acceptance and inner poise and peace that can allow for any challenge or unplanned occurrence to have less of an angering or upsetting impact and more of an ability to perhaps guide you and help you grow into the evolved being you are here to be.
Imagine all the disruptions in your life were actually opportunities. Opportunities to surrender to the moment. Opportunities to see a different perspective and thus shift your perception of reality. Imagine that, actually living thus in a different reality. A more beautiful, true, calm and patient place. Imagine what you can create, do, be, achieve then! How you can grow and evolve from this place! The choice is yours.
May you explore Cultivating even more Patience in your life starting from NOW.
With Love, Elise | S*M