Patience. A begrudging practice at times. Wayne Dwyer says: Infinite patience brings immediate results. This feels about right. When the impatience of my mind stamps its feet, for more - now! -it kicks up the dust - clouding the clarity of the moment. Have you ever rushed a moment - received it - looked over your shoulder at the past and wished you had savored it rather than slurped it down?
For example, I recently relocated - - with any relocation there are bits and bobs to be attended to: mail transfers, cooking supply stocking, sun block buying, and Internet connecting. For whatever reason, there was a bit of a cloud around the Internet installation - the computer guy was on vacation, the Internet company was also celebrating their Independence holiday and I was left with an, "Eh, it'll happen," for my timeline. Being from the East Coast, hyperventilation quickly kicked in. How would I check my email? How would I stay in touch? How would I shop for the new car I needed to get around this oddly large island? How would I write my book (I have been finding blame - casting for this one, for years)? How would I......? How would I? How would I?
I herumpfed about for a few days, driving daily to a lovely little coffee shop to zoom into the caffeinated connection of online-dom. One morning I woke up and realized: When I get Internet, I will have to find a job, a car, a reason to be on this island. I won't have an excuse to sip on latees and putz around the breeze-filled cafette. When I realized this - I realized the gift that I was being presented with: space. Space to be in between the known. I could kick and stamp my feet, or I could allow this moment to ease passed, with the reassurance that I will eventually be "online" and connected, and right now the only thing I needed was patience. It is not hard to see that my reaction was disproportionate to the actual situation. But the situation was an easy place to put all my angst about the uncertainty of my move: my work, my friends, my connections, my very identity was all wrapped around this Internet connection.
I believe life's lessons come in these stages. Practicing patience is practicing patience, whether it is in reference to an Internet connection or reestablishing my self in a new community, very far from what I have ever known, finding a job, finding a car, et cetra, et cetra. Just like on a little league field, whether the ball is being tossed in practice or in a game -- it needs to be hit. It is a gift to take the pressure-less moments to hone our skills, to cultivate our muscle memory (links to two different articles if this is a new concept for you), so that when another moment comes -- we can flow with ease in the tide of patience and the assurance of faith. The lila (sanksrit for "divine play") of life is ongoing whether I understand the timing or not is - at best - irrelevant. For me, there was a great release when I shifted into gratitude of - not being online - in fact, I picked up a novel and decided to indulge myself in reading good books and languid yoga practices, to lavish myself in the freedom of not doing...the very next day, the computer man arrived at the door and I was online - connected - back into the great wide world. Incidentally, the hold up for the online access was a previous misconfiguration - the router simply needed to be told how to read the configuration, or in my mind, the situation.
Like my perpetual teacher, my sweet dog Kyla featured in the photo, knows her moment of freedom will undoubtedly come, where she can bound around in all her glory, until that moment comes, she props herself in comfort and allows my busy-ness patiently. She may glare, she may nudge from time to time, but mostly she stretches out in comfort and acceptance. Sometimes, it seems, that the work is to elicit patience, to enable bounding rather than tiptoeing into the next great moment.
Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still.
- T. S. Elliot