I’ve been thinking about patience lately. I realize how much patience one has to develop to accomplish any worthwhile goal whether it’s getting a degree, raising a child or losing weight. Regarding my children, one lecturer used to say, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” That saying has helped me when parenting my children, but I use it to in other aspects of my life. We’re so used to fast results and the quickness of living in the 21st century. We know that things take time and we should slow down, but to actually do that; to actually be patient…Well what is that?
Fortunately our children take a long time to grow up. That gives us time to make decisions, change our minds, make mistakes, try again and sometimes get it right. Why do expect no less ourselves when it comes to accomplishing a goal, like losing weight?
So many people I work with are professionals who had to wade through good times, bad times, work hard, endure disappointments and had to be…yes, patient to get where they are today. Why don’t we transfer the ability to be patient with other desires?
This difficulty being patient starts because we are not taught effective strategies and therefore don’t teach children strategies to develop patience. We tell children, “No you can’t have everything you want.” “No, you have to wait,” But the messages we teach are negative. The message we send is, “Tolerate being uncomfortable because everyone has to learn that.” We end up frustrating children instead of developing skills to be patient.
I wasn’t taught patience and I don’t know if I’ve taught my children very well. I’m trying to learn patience and I’m trying to teach patience. Now I have tools, including teachers who share with me what patience is, how to develop patience and how to manifest patience. I’m a lot happier now that I have tools. I wish I had been taught earlier. Life would have been better and more fruitful if I understood earlier what and how to manifest patience.
How to develop patience?
Develop a mantra to get you through the tough moments.
Address your breathing. It’s hard to stay calm if your breathing is shallow or rapid. When you aren’t breathing, you could be in a fight or flight mode which means your higher brain power isn’t working well to be ultimately creative and intentional in your choices.
Address your fears if “it” all doesn’t happen now.
Spend less time trying to do “more.” This keeps you in a rapid pace response that everything in your life has to be done NOW. This disrupts the understanding of patience.
Notice how you are not living in present. Try and remind yourself that in this very moment you are fine.
In Taoism, we speak of learning to stay in the flow. Understand that if you are fighting the Universe to make things happen faster than it can, you are actually not in the flow of your life.
Do not spend a moment in the past and don’t anticipate the future. Stay present and go back to your breathing.
Read biographies of people who have accomplished great odds to get something they wanted.
Learn from your previous experiences about your patience.
Patience is a learned skill. Therefore know that we all can learn to be patient. Keep breathing and develop a practice of patience. Can you imagine a world in which patience was a value taught to all beings? It could change everything.
I was feeling impatient at the beginning of this article, wanting to cut to the practical information. I am glad that I caught myself and continued on, because I found the ideas for practicing patience at the end a nice reward for relaxing, reading and reflecting instead of skimming, as I feel compelled to do so often on Internet publications. (Why is that?)
Great insights, Amy! As far as this whole weight loss exploration goes for me, I vacillate between wanting to ‘be there now’ mixed with frequent bursts of unadulterated panic about what it will mean when I ‘arrive’. Appreciate you blogging on this!