I’ve been meditating on the concept of active patience lately. To some degree, patience can seem passive or lazy. But in this hectic and busying world, I find patience to be active and intentional. It’s managing your expectations. It’s acknowledging that real, lasting change takes time.
It’s acknowledging that you’re not in control. That the universe has a plan. It’s remembering that each step along the way is as important as the end goal. It’s taking time for yourself and for each other, to do and show extra love and kindness. It’s supporting each other in our faults, acknowledging that we are each doing the best we can.
On our recent beach trip, this lesson was easier. Time slowed down. I would naturally forget to check the clock. But putting this into practice in everyday life is a bigger challenge. Here are a few habits surrounding active patience that I’m working on.
- Don’t rush.
Whether it be to yoga class or to work, I’m consciously trying not to rush. Maybe I make it to fewer yoga classes. That’s okay. Maybe I’m five minutes late to work. No big deal, I’ll stay five minutes late. A few minutes one way or the other is generally inconsequential, but the frantic energy that comes with rushing can have a negative impact on my entire day.
- Say no.
I consistently struggle with saying no and have tended to overbook my life. As I work on rushing less, a huge part of that means being more intentional with my commitments to begin with. So I’m learning to say no. This one’s a steep learning curve for me, but I am letting go of the fear of missing out, accepting that my friends will still love me if I miss a party, and ultimately realizing that it’ll all be okay.
- Be the moon.
This one sounds a little weird, but when thinking about active patience I ran across a piece about the moon. The moon moves slowly but with intention, taking 29.5 days to complete a phase cycle and a full 3,232.6054 days to rotate around its axis. This really resonated with me. As a child I felt a connection with the moon, always referring to it as my moon as I’d watch it out the window driving home from my grandparents’ house. As an adult, I see the moon bringing balance: meditation balancing movement, darkness balancing light, yin balancing yang. And in an active, yang culture, we need more yin. We need the moon.
And lastly, because everything reminds me of music, here’s a meditative little song to remind us to take our time.