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.

Who Do I Want To Be In This World?

Greatness Does Not Come From What You Do_350Are you familiar with Marie Forleo? If not, check her out – she rocks some serious sass and energy and doles out some pretty awesome advice and insights on life, entrepreneurship, inspiration and much more.

I recently watched an episode from her MarieTV series entitled “What should I do with my life. Wait, don’t answer that.” Click here to check it out.

“What should I do with my life????” Well, if that isn’t the question that haunts my waking (and sleeping) hours!

I’m pretty familiar with this question as it has been an intermittent companion along my life’s journey. This past year, following the closing of my second business, Ambajam, this question has become my constant shadow. Letting go of the business was undoubtedly the right call for me, but letting go of that identity was tough…tough…tough. Who was I now that I was no longer an entrepreneur and a business owner? What value did I bring? Where did I fit? Knowing it was solely up to me, how did I want to write this next chapter of my life? Where did I start?

Marie suggests that rather than focusing on what we should “DO” with our lives, focus instead on who we want to “BE” in this world. The DO versus BE debate is nothing new but it struck me when I watched the episode that I have spent so much time this year trying to figure out what I want to “DO”. And, believe me that “DO” has proven to be quite elusive.

Bottom line is that I have been focusing on the form, structure, outward manifestation of the “DO”, trying to imagine an entity or a job title rather than asking myself who I want to “BE” in this world and letting that inform what I decide to “DO”.

Just shifting that one word, as Marie says, can totally change the dynamics and the energy behind the questioning. Shifting from “DO” to “BE” loosens things up, opens us up to authenticity, creativity, compassion, play and more.

So, who do I want to BE in this world?

I want to be someone who:

  • Is compassionate, loving and kind
  • Lives life with authenticity and integrity
  • Embraces her vulnerability as a strength
  • Makes a difference in this world and in the lives of those around her
  • Brings people together
  • Takes the time to really listen to and “see” others
  • Helps people open up to their true potential
  • Is curious about life
  • Embraces her creative, intuitive self and let’s her light shine
  • Experiences life from a place of engagement and inspiration
  • Radiates joy and lives a joy-filled life

Knowing who I want to “BE” is the foundation for moving forward. The opportunity now is to take what is in my heart and find ways to express that in the world.

Shift The Question Shift The Mindset:

  • If I am trying to find answers and what I’m doing isn’t working…try a different path! As Einstein said “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
  • Changing, even slightly, the perspective from which I am looking at something can make a world of difference.
  • Who I want to “BE” in this world is the energy I will bring to what I “DO”.
  • If I know who I want to “BE” then I can work into what I want to “DO”.
  • My way of being is the foundation on which everything else is built.