Journey to Patience 

Patience is a state of consciousness.  We cultivate patience when we refuse to put pressure on ourselves or others and allow life to unfold organically in its own time and space.  We put our ego agenda aside and pay attention to the signs and clues that suggest the best direction for our energies.  The more patient we are the more progress we make on our spiritual path, because we stop swimming against the tide, exhausting our energy.  Instead we wait to catch the wave so that the momentum is on our side and we can move forward without contention or struggle.    

Opposite States of Consciousness:  Impatience, Anxiety, Rushing, Forcing, Putting pressure on ourselves or others.  When this occurs, it is time to slow down, drop our ego agenda, revise our expectations, come into our hearts, and become present emotionally with life as it is.  As A Course in Miracles says, “Only Infinite patience brings immediate results.”

The Teaching

We all have our ego agendas.   We want to make things happen, get things accomplished, solve our problems and achieve our goals.  But sometimes the outcome we are emotionally invested in simply isn’t going to happen.  That may be because the outcome is not in harmony with who we are, or it may be because the timing is not right.  Either way, our progress is blocked.
     Sometimes we are too inflexible and unwilling to negotiate and that creates a log jam in the flow of creative energy.  In order for us to manifest what is positive for ourselves and others, we have to be clear on our goals, but flexible in the way we reach them.   We have to be emotionally present, willing and able to move forward and so must others.  When we are not ready or others are not ready, the way forward will be blocked or obscured. 
     If we are clear about our goal and committed to it, we can get in touch with the blocks in our consciousness and work to remove them.  When we get out of the way and surrender our agendas and expectations, the flow can often be restored.  Of course, this takes time, vigilance and patience with the process.
     If we try to rush the process, it will abort or shut down.  We simply cannot make things happen.  What happens by force is wound-driven and results in negative consequences for us and others.
     So there are times when we have to get off our hurry horse and take baby steps.  We need to slow things down and tune into how we feel.  Are we pushing forward with blinders on?   Are we stuck in our heads and disconnected from our hearts? 
     Sometimes the obstacles appear to be outside of us, but when we look deeply we realize that the outside block is just a reflection of an inside one.  So we have to take our attention away from the world and reconnect to our hearts before attempting to move forward.   Then, the universe will let us know if we are back on track, because our progress will continue.  The way will open before us.
     Being patient means taking the time to check within, to ask “does this feel right?” And if the answer is “No” revising our expectations or our course of action.
     Things get done when it is time for them to get done, not necessarily when we want them to get done.  We are not in control of what or when something happens.  To be sure, we have input, but so do other people and so does the energy that has already been set in motion based on past thoughts and actions.
     In the end, there is a right time and a wrong time for everything.  As we are told in Ecclesiastes, “there is a time for every season….a time to sow and a time to reap, a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together.”
    When it is the wrong time, we have to be patient and wait until the time is right.   In spite of the belief of our impatient egos, we cannot get blood out of a stone.  Banging our head or someone else’s against the door does not make it open.  Sometimes we have to give up, admit defeat, and surrender before the energy can change.
     Patience helps us get back on track with the universal flow of energy so that we can swim with the tide, instead of against it.    When we stop forcing and get of the way, the energy picks up again and we can dance with life.  
     This dance continues every day.  We move out of the flow and back into it. And the more patient we are, the better we sense when it is time to move and when it is time to wait.   Little by little, we learn to catch the tide and ride the waves.   Being in flow is so much more satisfying than being out of the flow and stuck in the mud or jammed against a rock.  
     After a few times of being beaten up in the river, we stop fighting it and learn to cooperate.  That saves us and others a lot of grief.  When we stay present and let go, we reach our goals without a huge effort.  

The Practice

Today be aware when you become anxious and lose your patience.   You can’t practice being patient until you are aware that you have lost your patience.  Be aware of the signs.  Are you nervous. worried, beginning to panic?  Are you rushing around?  Are thoughts spinning around in your head?  Are you preoccupied with negative experiences in the past or afraid of repeating them in the future?
     If so, take a deep breath in and let it go.  Do this several times, allowing yourself to calm down, get out of your head and into your heart. Let your energy flow all the way down from the top of your head into the bottoms of your feet.  Wiggle your toes and feel the energy of the ground beneath you.  This helps you to get grounded and become emotionally present with your experience here and now.    
     Now take a moment to tune into what fear is rising up and causing your anxiety.  Hold that fear in compassionate awareness.  You do not have to try to make it go away.  Just hold it gently as you breathe with it.
    Become aware of how you are putting pressure on yourself or others.  Notice when you are trying to avoid or rush through some situation that makes you uncomfortable.  Ask yourself: “How can I accept what is happening now and relax into it?  What are some ways that I can be more patient with myself or with others?”
     Then go back to what you were doing with more peace and acceptance in your heart.  Do what you can do.  Say what you can say.  And what you cannot say or do leave for another day.  Don’t try to make something happen that is not ready to happen.  Don’t pick the fruit before it is ripe.  Wait for the right time. 
     Swim with the current of the river, not against it. Then you will not exhaust yourself or make foolish mistakes.  And remember, when a storm comes up, it is better to wait it out on the riverbank then to dive into the rapids.  Speeding up causes unnecessary hazards and potential harm to yourself and others.

Journaling Questions

Where (and with whom) do I need to learn to be more patient? How can I take the pressure off myself and others and allow life to unfold?

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