The art of patience



As I am studying the anatomy of a wholehearted YES!, this week I am comparing the areas in my life where I am living success to the areas where I am not yet living my potential, and how I go about them differently. The thing that struck me most was that in the areas where I am successful, I am very patient, I can hold a vision for a long period of time and there is a knowing that all is going to work out just fine.
Interestingly, in my quest for a ‘job’, the opposite has been true. Most of all, I had no patience to let things come to fruition. I didn’t take the time to get the blue print right. In my haste to accomplish something, I started building before I knew what the prospected end result and the cost would be. Looking back, there are many unfinished buildings. They all started with the same amount of enthusiasm and then died a sudden or slow death. I have come to the place where I am okay with that. I have no regrets, but I really want to do it differently this time. I want to navigate around the pitholes that got me down in the past. I want to look back and not only ‘have no regrets’, but feel the exhilaration that comes with the creation of success.

I once heard a lecture by John Cleese on creativity, where he argued that creativity is as much determined by a person’s inherent creativity as it is by their willingness to sit through uncertainty, to bear the discomfort of not knowing what will happen, to be patient enough not to choose the first scenario that comes along, or the second or the third, but to keep entertaining a myriad of possibilities until you find the one that ‘clicks‘ on all levels.
Somehow this makes me think about the two times we bought a home. The first time, we were living very happily in our apartment, not even considering moving, when I saw ‘by chance’ an advert for a residential building project, felt a distinct yes and drove to town that same afternoon to get a brochure. I instantly knew this would be perfect for us. And it was. The second time, although we were still very happy in the home we bought 6 years earlier, we both felt a desire to move to a different part of the country. This time, we took our time. We had a wish list, in order of importance and my husband did his Excel wizardry. Of the houses that qualified, we visited over twenty, but none of them got us excited, except for the last one. We really loved that house and could easily imagine it being our home, yet something felt off. And, even though the realtor mentioned other people being interested, we took the time to process the off-ness we both experienced. In the end, although we felt torn, we decided not to go through. The next week, I somehow ‘by chance’ found a house that did not match our criteria, but was love at first sight. Within a week, we were the owners of a certificate that guaranteed the construction of a new house within a year. It has been our home for the past eight years, it fitted like a glove from day one, and still does. There will probably be a day, when we will consider moving again. I will know that day when it comes. I am not chasing it. When it comes, I will love it and when it doesn’t I’ll be completely fine too. Until that day, I will be blissfully ignorant.

Looking back, I can see that all the best choices in my life were allowed rather than made. From a space of not needing to change the status quo, I waited for them to come into my life. In not needing this thing that was in front of me right now, in not getting attached to an option that was presented, I allowed myself to process on all levels what felt best to me. In this space, I know there will be other options, I feel no haste even when my physical time seems limited. In this space of not needing to say ‘yes’ lies the freedom to entertain multiple scenarios and choose what resonates with the whole of my being, because next to the wholehearted YES lives a soulful NO.
In the time to come, next to exploring the anatomy of excitement, I will be mastering the art of patience. I will practice getting used to the feeling of discomfort that comes with  postponing both yes and no. I will practice not needing to change the status quo, and be happy with not knowing what will happen next. I will practice forcing nothing by not constructing my yes. I will allow my YES to be pure and my NO to be holy.


Image by Sigurd Decroos

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