What a weird experience I had the other evening. Let me tell you about it. My husband had taken the dogs out for a walk, and I had gone out to meet them on their return. The mist had been gathering, but now it had transmogrified into an entirely different beast….. Continue reading
This is for Debbie Roth’s fabulous ForgivingConnects post on peace of mind.
Lately, I’ve been saying this affirmation/prayer before meditating. These 4 things (restlessness, delusion, judgement and impatience) are big old habits for me to relinquish if I’m ever to experience lasting true inner peace.
I hope you experience inner peace at some point today. Make the time….it’s worth it! Much love, Anita.😘
Patience, from the Latin patientia, a derivative of pati, to suffer or endure.
The trouble with patience:
Patience is our ability and willingness to endure misfortune and adversity. Patience is certainly a virtue to my mind, conjuring as it does such synonyms as: humility, submission, endurance, calmness, composure, self-restraint and equanimity. And yet, some of these definitions may at first hand appear negative. For example, if a person appears to be humble, are they perceived as allowing others to walk all over them? Likewise with submissiveness. However, when we bring to mind some of the other meanings of patience, namely the qualities of endurance, calmness, composure, self-restraint and equanimity, these appear to be wholly positive. Many of us can confuse the concept of patience in order to get our own way in the end!! This is simply the little self (the ego) trying to micro-manage every aspect of our life and that of others around us.
“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.”
– Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister (1979 – 1990)
The struggle is half the battle:
The busier we are with daily life, the less even-minded I feel. My calmness disappears in a fog of ego-bound restlessness, frustration and impatience. I guess many of us have this struggle at various times in our lives. But is it self-imposed? I think I’ve figured out why this is. It’s all to do with our relationship with the big T: Time.
Time is a manufactured state that we humans imprison ourselves in and one against which we struggle impatiently throughout our lives. There is a better way. Look to the animal kingdom, to our pets. Are they stressed about time? Are they rushing to be somewhere at an allocated time and worried about others’ reactions if they happen to arrive late? No, of course not! Let’s stop putting ourselves under this time pressure. Not so easy in the workplace, I grant you, but a few moments stepping back from the frenzy of time-restraints can reset our inner balance, enabling us to work thereafter with increased patience, calmness and equanimity (not riding the storm of emotions high and low).
How to nurture patience in your life:
So how can we develop and nurture patience, and all its synonymous qualities outlined above, in our daily lives? Below are 3 examples:
- You’re late for work.
Instead of flapping and rushing, pause, close your eyes and take as many calm breaths as you need. Then think through the situation logically. How might you create a win-win situation for you and your employer? For example, phone them to explain and offer to work later to make up the time.
- You give a task to someone to do and they have not done it by the desired time.
Do not allow yourself to become angry. If you find yourself thinking disparaging or angry thoughts towards the person, do not give these more power by enunciating them. Instead say nothing and walk away for a few minutes to collect yourself. Keep trying to slow down the breath as this will allow you to think more clearly. Why was the desired time so important to you? Can the task be delayed? What are the reasons for the task not being done? Did you properly supervise the person and check in on their progress? How can you proceed? and so on. Any decision you take, or words you say, must not derive from chaotically-veering emotions but should be wisdom-guided.
- You are finding a painful situation (physical or emotional) intolerable.
Remember that life is God’s play (lila) and we are simply the actors in it. Depending on our individual karma accrued from past lives and our current incarnation, we are presented with situations to challenge our bad habits and our attachment to this world of sensory pleasure. God wants to see if we will renounce all the wonders that He has provided for us and find pleasure in inner communion with Him. Can we trust in Him that everything will be alright? Can we find the humility to understand that we don’t control our lives, He does? Can we submit to this higher power in the wisdom that often the things that are good for us can sometimes initially seem painful?
Have a wonderful week, and remember to be patient!! Anita.
“Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way
I can’t wait to look in the mirror
Cause I get better looking each day
To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
Oh Lord It’s hard to be humble,
But I’m doing the best that I can.”
-from It’s-hard-to-be-humble-Mac-Davis song
I was going to start this blog post with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, but as soon as I started writing, this song started ringing out in my head, so I went with these lyrics instead. You should take a minute to watch the YouTube video link above. It’s such a catchy song, very tongue-in-cheek but at the same time contains a serious message if you want to look into it more deeply. Because the difference between maintaining a state of balance in your body-mind and slipping into ego-led delusion is like teetering on a knife-edge, and one on which I teeter (and fall) quite often. As I frequently tell people, “I’m a work in progress!”
One spiritual quality I struggle with is that of humility. It is hard to be humble, as the song says. We are hard-wired to strive for better, to improve ourselves, and when we do make improvements (be they physical, mental, spiritual) we naturally feel gratified. Watch out though, for this is the ego entrapping us in the cycle of action-gratification-more action- and this will inevitably lead to unhappiness. I awoke to the reality of life on earth through ill-health some 9 years ago. I see this awakening as a true blessing, but when I look at others who are still caught on the treadwheel of material desires and delusion, a sense of smugness can sometimes beset me. I start thinking things like, “I’m better than him or her”, or I judge their behaviour because it doesn’t come up to my standards.
Who made me God?
But hold on a minute here. Who made me God? I don’t get to decide how we should all behave and think! I know this to be true, but equally I haven’t fully assimilated it in a practical sense yet. This is a big block I need to deal with before I can progress further. Where did this arrogance come from? I was certainly very driven since childhood, but perhaps it comes from a previous incarnation? In any case, it has to go. This arrogance is the opposite of humility and I know I must do my very best to hand it over to God and at every moment, make the choice of humility instead. Here’s the Gandhi quote:
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.”
God’s spark shines in all of us equally. Paramahansa Yogananda (20thC Swami who brought Kriya yoga to the west) made the analogy of sunlight falling equally on a lump of coal and a diamond, yet only the diamond receives and reflects the light. Have a nice weekend and Shine-on-you-crazy-diamond (Pink Floyd)! Anita.💎