Patience has never been among my virtues. Throughout my life I’ve struggled with impatience in its myriad forms. I tend to rush through life, squeezing as much into it as I can; and I’m impatient with those who operate at a slower pace or who are happy to do a single good thing in a day. When I start thinking about any new project -personal or professional – I want to leap in immediately. I want immediate action, immediate answers, immediate results. I am an impatient woman, with myself and with others.
The Universe, it seems, is making a concerted effort to help me learn patience right now. Yoga and meditation, two practices I’ve recently embraced, are not practices for the impatient. You can’t learn strength and balance and flexibility overnight; you can’t sit comfortably in lotus position and empty your mind for twenty minutes at a time without practice. And just in case I’m not getting the message, the theme of patience is coming up in the books I’m reading and even in the guided meditations I’ve been doing. The Universe is working hard to get my attention.
The second night of our vacation, we headed down to Chesterman Beach, hoping for one of those amazing Tofino sunsets you sometimes get. It didn’t look good. The clouds had rolled in and as the sun fell toward the horizon, there was little more than a pale glimmer of faint light. Most people started to make their way home, but we waited a little longer, knowing that sometimes the most spectacular moments come well after sunset. And that night, our patience was rewarded handsomely, in magnificent golds and violets and pinks.
Okay, Universe. I get it!
That gorgeous Tofino sunset was a vivid reminder of the value of patience, of living at a more reasonable pace. And so for the rest of the holiday I was mindful about slowing down. Though my inclination was to squeeze as much into every day as possible, I didn’t. “We don’t have to get to every beach,” I’d remind myself. “We don’t have to do everything on this trip. We’ll be back.”
Instead of rushing, we spent leisurely mornings in the airy, art filled house we’d rented. The boys were happy to do their own thing. And I was delighted to have time to journal and read, to blog and paint. In the afternoons, we’d head out and spend long hours on one beach or another. In the evenings, we’d return to the house, have dinner and maybe play a game, or take a dip in the hot tub which was set among the trees.
It was a relaxing, spacious holiday, and a valuable lesson for me to take into my day to day life. I’m realizing how much I value space in my life, how much I need long, uninterrupted stretches of solitude in order to thrive. I’ll only get that time when I learn to be patient, to slow down, and to stop trying to squeeze too many things into my days.
What lesson is the Universe trying to teach you right now? Are you paying attention?