Patience: Nature’s Greatest Secret

patience

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nowadays, people juggle multiple different obligations on a daily basis – for example, to family, friends, work, and their health, among others.  Some days feel manageable, but other days can feel downright chaotic.  In the midst of the chaos, we can easily feel overwhelmed and defeated for not being able to handle *everything* exactly as planned.

During these times, it helps to remember the foundation of any type of growth: Patience.  If you think about it, patience is truly the root of our yoga practice, too.  We can conceptualize it as the breath, or calming the mental chatter, or learning to relax – but at the end of the day, the only way we can master any of these activities is through extending boatloads of patience toward ourselves and others.

Can’t stop thinking about that argument you got into this morning?  Breathe…patience.  Try again.  And again and again, and you’ll find a way to fight more fairly.

Beating yourself up for picking up your child late from practice…again?  It’s OK…patience.  You’re not the first parent to do this, nor will you ever be the last. See what you can re-tweak in your life to give yourself more time next time.

Annoyed because you can’t seem to stick to a workout routine for more than a week at a time?  Le sigh…patience once again. Know that every time you start a healthy habit, you learn a little more about what works for you and what doesn’t, even if it doesn’t last.  See what you can learn from this attempt and try again.

You can never extend yourself or others too much patience.  Some may believe it’s weak, that it’s a way of “going easy” on yourself when you should have known better, but honestly, are you better off by getting upset? The take-home is still the same (“let’s see what we can learn from this and try to do better next time”), but when you’re patient instead of upset, you also offer yourself compassion, which, over time, reminds us that “dropping the ball” is not only OK to do, but it is sometimes even a critical part of learning what works for us.

So let’s all try it – next time we feel frustrated about something we or others don’t do as well as we’d hope, let’s take a deep breath and remember to be patient.  We might just see that, over time, we begin to bloom in perfect rhythm with our surroundings.