Hah…easy for Basho to say! Right? How often are you told that patience is a virtue, good things come to those who wait or let the ball come to you? As a coach, I often use these expressions especially with my Type A clients who want to see results yesterday. And the common lament is as follows: yes I am waiting BUT for how long? When will things move for me? When will I finally get what I want? My answer is always the same: being patient has no end date! By definition, patience has no deadline, no limit. The idea is that you are just patient – you wait till your wait is over. And you wait like you are not waiting at all.
The real challenge with patience then becomes what do you do while you wait? These days I am waiting…waiting to respond to life, waiting for my spring to arrive – and here is what I have learned so far. While I have been waiting, my phone and petrol bills have dropped considerably. Since I am not “making things happen”, I make few calls or client visits and fewer “sales” pitches. So waiting can be cost-effective for you!
Waiting also frees up a lot of time and energy – all the effort I used to spend on worrying about things that were not happening, chasing people and ideas is now suddenly available to me, for me. I have time for creating new content, my personal wellness and hobbies. Time spent with friends is also easy because I am not seeking or fixing anything – I am just there. This makes waiting quite relaxing! There is literally nothing to do till there is something to do.
Too good to be true you say? Well, there is one worm in this proverbial apple – doubt. Imagine it: I am waiting to respond, when something comes up I flow into action and else I wait. It is easy and flowy and relaxing – all is well. Suddenly doubt strikes – is this all? Am I being too laid back, even lazy? Look at all those people on Facebook just hustling and making it happen. Surely this cannot be enough…and off I go. I fall off the wait wagon and start running again. The treadmill is on and I am the hamster on the run!
Sometimes a week, a day or even hours later, I find a moment to catch myself and breathe. And then I see my madness…and aah I feel my body relaxing. My shoulders drop, my breath deepens and all my nervous tics settle a bit. Back in the flow, I brew a cup of tea and bring out my colouring book. A delicious monsoon afternoon awaits me…