Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day-
What does patience mean to you personally in regards to mindfulness and living an authentic life?
Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty and annoyance without getting angry or upset.
What are we to think after reading this definition of patience I pulled from a dusty dictionary? You may be asking: “Will I encounter delay, difficulty, or annoyance in my life?” All of us share a universal answer: (we) can’t recall a single day in our lives when at least one of “three” –delay, difficulty and annoyance … Didn’t make an appearance.
Throughout the years, my reaction to the presence of any one of the three was to get “angry” a little “upset” and completely “ticked off.” Then early one winter morning I realized that my normal response served only to make an already unpleasant situation, worse, much worse. Thus began my journey to making a conscious effort to respond to “delay, difficulty and annoyance” differently than I had done before. On the worst days? The best I could do was to simply “tolerate” their presence in my life. Although with practice, just like riding a bike and doing the yoga thing, I was better able to “accept” them kindly, with a smile and as an inevitable part of daily life.
When we start to weave tolerance and acceptance into delay, difficulty and annoyance … We sit up straight and start to notice a few things. Firstly, patience is a gentle way of treating ourselves with compassion. Keep in mind Dear Reader: Compassion is the act of reaching out to those who are suffering … Including ourselves.
Secondly, I noticed that being patient gave me a feeling of calmness that makes it infinitely easier to ride life’s ups and downs without being tossed about aimlessly. Seeing the correlation between patience and enhanced self-compassion and awareness convinced me of the value of practicing patience.
I suffer deeply when I stray from the path of patience, lack of patience is a stress response to whatever is going wrong in my life. Stress firmly grips both my mind and my body … Cultivating patience is my way of taking care of myself, which is the heart of self-compassion. the calm acceptance of life as it is, right now in this precious moment
Now how does one share to the world, the hyper obsessed runners and fitness aficionados that the idea of suffering and stress from punishing our bodies is NOT taking care of ourselves?
It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream-
I’ve arrived at a conclusion this morning, that one simple, mindful day out of the year, set aside for us to do what we’re ordinarily not very good at: Recognizing our own limitations and identifying needs for improvement. Is a good idea.
Today, Dear Reader? You get the unblemished truth …
My cycling club had a “wellness ride” last month (ish). I participated, and because we are open and honest here … I won’t hide the truth as to what my motivation for attending was: I wanted the free t-shirt that went along with it. Seriously, what better way to break from the normal weekend ride than to offer me a mediocre, hunter’s orange t-shirt for a paltry $35 participant fee?
You’d be amazed and nauseated if I told you this was some sort of mistake I had wandered into. The ride was tremendously windy. My body was not quite feeling up to the task of a 50 mile single speed ride starting at 7am on a Sunday. Sleep had been non-existent all week, work was more stressful than normal, I failed to have my sweet ride up on the car the night before. The morning of the ride was chaotic …
Looking back, I was willing to go to great lengths to refute the objective information my body and mind were presenting to me, simply because I ignored it. I pushed harder and harder during the last few miles, paid little attention to my knee aching, my shoulders and hips tightening up. The walk into the house later that evening was pure hell and having my son see me in such a poor condition left little doubt to the pain I had caused this Sunday in late March.
I (you) do the same very “thing“, every single weekend.
You could write, painfully every day for eternity talking about self-deception and how much it has to offer and take away. Self deception allows us to remain resilient stepping off the scale, having not lost 10 pounds this month. Self deception also allows us to recover quickly from failure. It gives us dudes the balls to say, I know I’m injured right now, my body is weak and stressed, but I want a t-shirt and beer tickets.
My keen ability to keep failing to assume responsibility for my actions, which affect many other lovely people around me, I never fully seize the opportunity for actual improvement, whatever that is. I refused to surrender to the reality unfolding around me and I became an insufferable asshole up until this morning (if you are doing the math at home: One whole month), who no one wants to be around or kiss when you get home from work.
One day, maybe this morning? Grasp the importance and wisdom that arrives when we recognize the importance of seeing ourselves, for who we really are.
Be well friends and take care this weekend.
That’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real.” Nin interlocked his fingers, and stretched out his arms. “Real love, real friends, real body parts…”-
Life, each and every day is a risky undertaking. Each of us have our own choices to make each day, minute-to-minute, conveniently wrapped with the many mysteries of life. The weight loss plan we planned out over a nice Merlot in January may help us reach a goal we value and then again, it very well may not.
What exactly makes sense as we negotiate this perilous journey of life?
The balance between too much risk and too much safety is an altogether different equation for different folks. There is no right answer.
The rule book for our life is written well before we are born and we are taught those rules from the day of our birth. The rules are full of do this and don’t do that and awful consequences (you’ll shoot your eye out kid) and great rewards (a cheap medal for finishing a 5k). No two of you reading today share the same rule book as mine, not even remotely close. This is one of the main reasons why we sometimes become so hostile, so polarized, unwavering in our thoughts when facing off against an opponent who feels equally so. Don’t believe me? Tell the yoga goddess in your 9am class that her breathing and focus, suck. She’s following the rules for herself (matching Lululemon pants with a revealing top).
Living deeply is looking closely at your rule book and deciding, for ourselves, what our true nature is. What exactly is your true nature and how can you live authentically? The answers don’t come as easy as say a one-time blog post or a witty self-help e-book. They come as feelings of intuition and as a sense of purpose, guiding us one way or another. The answers we seek will come as clarity, focus, a genuine sense of purpose. Sometimes the answers are crystal clear, sometimes they are barely discernible nudges; a fleeting thought or feeling; a sweetness on your lips; a resonance in your heart … Do you hear these today?
A simple Walk sprinkled with some Inversions to make life interesting.
Step outside the familiar this afternoon, the comfortable, the place where you think you are safe, take a risk (wear jammies to yoga class). Take a risk against the old you … This is a risk worth taking.