Patience is a skill that takes practice. It is easy to fall back into judging your ability to be still before acting or to not distract yourself from your experience. Nothing in our culture reinforces patience: quite the opposite. Being still, not talking, stopping before making a decision, contemplating, slowing down, daydreaming…...any and all of these are not generally encouraged in our fast paced culture that rewards output and productivity. When were you told that it was okay for you to take your time? Just listen to our language about doing nothing: laziness, idleness, indolence, sluggishness, lethargy, dragging your feet, dawdling, dilly-dallying, procrastinating and even more demeaning indignations ad infinitum. Being called a daydreamer, deadbeat, slug, bum, slacker, loafer, lazybones, airhead, procrastinator…or any variation of these, brings with it a blast of shame. If you are not actively doing “something,” you are judged as “wasting” time or being indulgent and self absorbed. Doing nothing is socially reprehensible. We shame others and we shame ourselves. Just notice your inner critic when you are “not doing.” The closest we get to a socially acceptable mode of “not doing” is “Chilling out” and that usually happens when you are so overwhelmed or “burned out” that you have to stop doing or become ill. Meditating is an exception because it is thought of as an activity. Meditation is an intentional action, which is an excellent way to develop the stillness in patience.
Patience is not your first response to stress or chaos. Your first reaction is to quickly and as soon as possible get rid of the stress and calm down the chaos. What usually happens is more stress and chaos from impulsively reacting to external events with alarm and drama. It is an enormous task to subdue disturbances outside of yourself. The idea of calming down the external chaos is a clue to the real antidote, which is to calm down your inner experience. This is done through skilled Patience.
In order to have patience, you first have to be okay with the whole idea of being patient. Instead of feeling guilty or pressured for taking your time, not acting quickly, and being thoughtful, you must know that there is great benefit to being patient.
The Benevolent Benefits of Patience
It is in the Stillness that you are able to Touch the Deeper Level where Source Wisdom Resides
The Artful Practice of Patience
Patiently staying present to the sensations and feelings increases your emotional resiliency as well as your ability to regulate your emotional reactions. Emotional resilience is the “magic elixir” that increases your ability to handle stressful situations. You are able to adapt to crisis and adversity without lasting issues. Remarkably, this patient adaptability to crisis can allow a person to experience horrendous traumatic events without contracting PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
Through the practice of waiting and observing, you develop a greater level of self-control and discernment. Your thoughts do not jump to conclusions and you are less likely to automatically blame, project onto or dramatize outer events. A calm mind and heart allows you to experience the subtle joys of life. You see life as an ever-changing fluid terrain of impermanence. Wonder and curiosity return and you experience with good humor, the mystery of life’s challenges and opportunities.
Patience is Felt and is a Gift for Everyone
Giving the Gift of Patience brings Peace and Harmony into the World