Her Secret is Patience

“Adopt the pace of Nature; her secret is Patience.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Patience, huh? I am sure I’m not alone here in saying that patience is something I struggle with. In our fast paced world, we tend to want everything now…or more likely, yesterday.

We want to get healthy NOW. We want to lose those extra pounds NOW. We want to find that perfect job NOW. We want to meet our soul mate NOW. We want to get to where we are going NOW.

Adopt the pace of nature draft 500Around the same time that this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote came into my life I was having a somewhat angst ridden conversation with someone about where my life was headed. He likened my life to the seasons. He said I was in my planting season – sowing the seeds for what is to come. Unfortunately, as he so aptly put it, I wanted to be in the harvest season, seeing the results of my efforts. He cautioned me that no matter how much I may want to I can’t leapfrog over this “in between” time, it is part of my evolution.

In my life there have been many instances where I have wanted to bypass the lulls, the delays, the inconveniences, the challenges, and the disappointments and instead move on to the main event. However, I am coming to recognize that it is in the “in between” times that I learn the most about myself and have the opportunity to find greater clarity about what it is that I truly want and who I truly want to be.

A wonderful acupuncturist I used to see would constantly remind me to observe nature when I was getting caught up in trying to push through and force changes in my life. In essence she was reminding me to adopt the pace of nature.

Have you ever watched those time-lapse photos of a bud flowering? Aside from the sheer beauty of observing something evolve, the time lapse shows us how many teeny, tiny, minuscule changes must occur to allow those petals to fully unfurl. For the most part we don’t witness those minuscule shifts. More often than not we see only the end result, meaning that the pace at which nature moves is often taken for granted.

Without a doubt, practicing patience, and trusting that things are unfolding as they are meant to, is challenging for me. I can allow plenty of internal and external forces to wreak havoc on my self-confidence and my trust in my intuition.

At the same time, I know very clearly that when I try to force things into being I am more often than not left empty handed, unsatisfied or frustrated. This is not to say that I should sit back and wait for something to happen. But it is a reminder that there is a natural rhythm to the evolution of my life, and I get better results when I allow that rhythm to lead me rather than fighting against it.

In moments of self-doubt I feel stuck, stagnant, limited. My opportunity in those moments is to pause, breathe and reflect. When I do those things I give myself space to recognize and acknowledge that I have indeed made progress, and that I am not the same person I was a year ago, or 6 months ago or even a few weeks ago.

It can be uncomfortable for sure but everything I am doing is helping me to learn, grown, and find greater clarity. Each moment and each choice is causing a shift and a change, no matter how small, allowing the petals of my life to continue to unfurl.  My choice is that rather than force the petals to open with brute force I can let them unfurl naturally with grace and ease. Grace and ease definitely feels better 😉

4 Reminders from Nature on Change:

  • Take a deep breath, pause and think about what I am learning about myself, and the world around me, during the “in between” times.
  • Remember that no matter how small the changes may seem I am continually growing, moving forward and evolving.
  • Embrace the discomfort, it is a sign that I am shifting and changing.
  • Trust the process and trust myself.

Read More

Savoring Love

Gate C22 image medium

 

I came across this poem a couple of months ago, and the raw authenticity and gorgeous simplicity of the words really touched my heart.

I love the idea of throwing all cares away, not worrying about who may be watching, or what they may be thinking, and just savoring a moment with someone you love.

The words hold so much romance in them yet they are not flowery nor elaborate. For me this is what gives the poem such beauty and soul.

Happy Valentine’s Day All.  Enjoy a little love from Gate C22!



Gate C22 – By Ellen Bass

At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed
a woman arriving from Orange County.
They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after
the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons
and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking,
the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other
like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island,
like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped
out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down
from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.

Neither of them was young. His beard was gray.
She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine
her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish
kisses like the ocean in the early morning,
the way it gathers and swells, sucking
each rock under, swallowing it
again and again. We were all watching–
passengers waiting for the delayed flight
to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots,
the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling
sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could
taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.

But the best part was his face. When he drew back
and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost
as though he were a mother still open from giving birth,
as your mother must have looked at you, no matter
what happened after–if she beat you or left you or
you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix
not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you
as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth.
The whole wing of the airport hushed,
all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body,
her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.

Read More

What’s Really Going On?

At a family dinner this past summer my dad and I got into a heated discussion about the pros and cons of GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). The conversation continued to escalate until another family member finally redirected the conversation. I patently ignored my dad through the rest of the meal and wouldn’t look at him…which was no easy feat as I was sitting right next to him and could feel him looking at me.

After helping with the dishes I left the rest of the family and went to my room where I promptly burst into tears. I love my dad dearly and have such respect for him. I deeply admire the man he is, and in so many aspects of my life, I rely on his guidance, his knowledge and his insight. I hated arguing with him. I also hated how I was feeling.Be grateful for the life lessons that challenge us_small

I had been in conversation with a friend the day before and discussed how I didn’t understand why people couldn’t just listen to and respect the opinions of others even if they were in conflict with their own thoughts. If I really believed that why was I so upset? Why wasn’t it enough just to agree to disagree?

I knew what I was feeling was about something much more than a disagreement on the value or drawbacks of GMO’s. Sitting in my room with tears streaming down my face and a great big ache in my heart I started a little personal inquiry. Sometimes when I can’t get to the root of something directly I start to ask myself questions. Doing this has really helped me to loosen up my thinking when I get stuck.

Why WAS I so upset? Did I feel like he wasn’t listening to me? Did I feel insecure in my beliefs and let his contrary opinion undermine my confidence? Was I embarrassed that we had argued in front of the rest of the family? No, none of that felt quite right. There had to be something more behind why I was feeling so distraught.

Finally it dawned on me. I wasn’t upset about the actual conversation. Honestly I couldn’t have cared less about the discussion on GMO’s at that point. What was really at the root of why I was so upset was a deep-seated resentment and anger at my dad about not taking better care of his health.

Holy S#*t! I was angry and resentful! What???! I don’t do anger and resentment. Well, surprise, surprise…apparently I do…and that shoved down, hidden away anger and resentment had just risen to the surface. The interesting thing was that I felt so much lighter when that realization dawned on me. It was like a huge weight had been lifted.

P1030505While my dad isn’t in poor health he isn’t in his optimal health either. I realized I was angry at him for not making a few simple adjustments to his diet and exercise habits that could have a profound impact on his overall health and longevity. I resented the fact that he is such a disciplined and principled man in so many aspects of his life but this one. And I was scared. I was scared about the day when he wouldn’t be around for me.  That realization still brings up a lot of emotion for me.

A few moments after this epiphany there was a knock on my door and I opened it to find my mum and dad on the other side. Probably in her attempt to clear the air so we could go watch our nightly installment of Homeland (we are coming to Homeland a few seasons behind but are busily catching up!!) my mum had brought my dad down to my room to talk to me about what had happened. Still hiccuping a bit from my tears, and with a shaking voice, I explained to my dad what I had just become clear to me.

It was probably not an easy thing for my dad to hear that his daughter was angry and resentful towards him. It probably wasn’t easy for him to see how vulnerable I felt at the thought of him not being around. However, true to the amazing man he is, he patiently listened to me, explained where he was coming from and then opened his arms and gave me a big, emotion filled hug.

While our talk that night was healing for the both of us it wasn’t complete, and there are more conversations to be had. However, it was an experience that was both freeing and illuminating. I am grateful that we hit this bump in the road and had the opportunity to share with each other in such a profound way.

Learning from a Difficult Conversation:

  • When something happens and my response seems out of proportion with the context, I need to pause and ask myself some questions to get at the root of what is really going on. More times that not what will reveal itself will have little to do with what just happened.
  • It is important that I am honest with those I love and share what I am feeling. It may seem scary at first but it is far scarier to keep those emotions and thoughts bottled up and stuffed deep down inside of me.
  • I need to remember that everyone is on their own journey. Especially when I love someone and think I know what they need I often want to jump in and fix things for them. When this desire comes up, it’s a signal for me to take a deep breath, meet them where they are and honor their process and their choice.

Have you been upset about something and then realized it was actually something else that was bothering you? How did you handle that?

Read More

Feeling Blue

It’s one of those days. I’m feeling blue and nothing I do seems to shake the melancholy I’m feeling.

There is change in the air for some of my loved ones, and I’m definitely experiencing resistance to it. Change is always a bit of a push pull experience for me, but when the change is happening to someone else, and I am just sitting on the sidelines, it is harder for me to handle than change I am choosing or inviting in to my own life.  When it’s “my” change I have input, I have decision making power, I have choice. When it is someone else’s change, I am a bystander, waiting to see what choice they decide to make…even if that change inadvertently impacts me and my life.

images

I’m a firm believer that it is up to me how I want to experience the ups and downs in my life. Today, for better or worse, I am choosing to sit in the heavy heartedness I’m feeling. Tomorrow, I will choose again. And more than likely I will choose differently.

 

 

 

Read More

My internal GPS

My brother nicknamed me “Emotional Sue” (Susan being my middle name) because I’m a big “feeler”. The nickname comes with a bit of an eye roll, but I can’t deny that the shoe fits…really well! Without a doubt I approach the world feelings first.

I am in charge of how I feelMy feelings are my internal GPS. They show me my route and steer me towards what I want. At the same time they signal, sometimes quite vociferously, when I have made a wrong turn and have gotten off track.  My feelings let me know where I am in my life, and I have discovered that they are not something to ignore if I want to live a life of authenticity, connection and courage. (more…)

Read More