Patience and Persistence

Three things can happen when a new student comes to yoga. They can try it once and you will never see them again. They try it and come back to the next class and the next and slowly become a part of the community. They can rush into the first class, not modify, try to do everything that everyone else is doing, struggle and maybe injure themselves. These book ends of the three scenarios, give up or push too hard, hold the middle ground of how we can live our life; with patience and persistence.

Patience is a form of wisdom. It understands that things happen in their own sweet time. Like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis some things can not be hurried. If you rip open the delicate fiber holding the butterfly it may emerge but be damaged. Nature understands the journey of how things come into being. You can not rush the seed into the finished product. The seasons come when they are ready, day and night has its own special rhythm. This is the flow of life. Everything happens when it is ready to happen, not when we want it to.

This can cause frustration for a lot of us. We want to be able to do an arm balance or handstand. We want our children to grow up faster. We want to lose 5 kilos in one week or build Rome in a day. We need to get our degree finished or the jobs around the house done as soon as we can. It is like we have stepped into the great human race and we are running as fast as we can to get to some imagined destination. Some better imagined future.

If we practice patience we can learn to step more into the flow of life. There are so many opportunities to pause and wait and exist in this place where there seems to be no time. At the traffic lights, in a supermarket queue, with small children or elderly parents, with our projects and with ourselves. When we practice patience with ourselves we learn to accept where we are fully in this moment. Patience is a practice of mindfulness. It says I am here now and I am OK with that. The practice of patience will slowly drive out its darker  friends, frustration and tolerance.

Practice for this week; Slow down and take your time. When you feel frustration arising from your need to hurry or finish something quickly ask yourself, can I just be here in this moment without expectation? Can I cultivate patience and mindfulness and acceptance that things are not happening as quickly as I would like. How can I just enjoy ‘being’ where I am right now rather than trying to constantly lean into the future.


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