I have been fortunate enough to live in opposite ends of our country: from the east in Manhattan Island, New York City to the west, in the Hawaiian Island of Maui. I am comfortable now acknowledging my intimate familiarity with the energy of BOTH Manhattan and Maui.
For me, the experience of living in both these marvelous places help me understand the polarity that is life.
Like the opposing and necessary forces of yin and yang, the grounding energy Maui and the forward moving energy of Manhattan balances me. At varying degrees, I truly believe that we all have a bit of Maui and Manhattan within us!!
We can apply this thought to deepen our understanding of polarities: the relationship between head and heart; intuition and logic; theory and practice; inhale and exhale.
For every human being, existing in one state without the other is impossible. Truly, these are examples of polarity: they are interdependent, and are required for healthy, balanced, holistic living.
Teaching What We Need to Learn the Most
My tumultuous past of losing my mother at 16, and being a child of an alcoholic father would suggest that, in order to survive, I must numb out, press on, and break through various difficulties of life.
Growing through change is a forward moving energy. For years, I pressed on, determined to conquer the life challenges presented before me.
I accepted these challenges, and I am (much!!) better for it. (Thank you, God!)
However, this way of being, of surviving hardships did not often cultivate patience. Whatever I had to do, I needed to do them quickly, gracefully, productively in a way that manufactures results.
All this feeds impatience, which I have recognized and worked on for years.
Finding myself now in Paris, I am reacquainting myself to the idea of siesta, when everyone takes a break from working to chill.
In fact, typical Parisan restaurants do not typically serve during the hours of 3pm and 7pm in the afternoon and early evening. Additionally, diners sit for hours to enjoy their meal and their company while eating out. None of this “in and out, rushy-rushy, I’ve got somewhere to go” attitude we all may be very familiar with.
Patience! Enjoy the time. Relax and chill - to “chillax” as my son loves to say.
I am reminded of how important it is to integrate patience into daily practice. In doing so, I remember a quaint saying the Hawaiians have that helps me remember HOW TO BE PATIENT, because as a typical American, I really really need the practice ...
“Try wait” is what Hawaiians say to mainlanders who are in a rush. I learned this on Maui a dozen years ago, where nothing is ever in a rush and everyone who visits is literally on vacation.
Living on the islands as a local allowed me to practice patience. On Maui island, when the West Maui mountains were on fire and the road to town was blocked, the opportunity to sit in stand-still traffic all day presented itself. During tourist season, driving across the island would be an all day event due to gridlock. Being stuck behind someone who is driving 15 miles an hour in a 25 Mph zone simply because they are sight seeing is nothing out of the ordinary. Could you really blame tourists for taking on the beauty of Maui?
Even locals won’t allow those who are new residents on the island to maintain a mainland pace. Business is conducted in its own vortex time, because, frankly, “what have you truly got to do and why do you need to do it so quickly?”
In the context of the tortoise and the hare, Maui is certainly a tortoise town (no pun intended, swimming alongside Maui turtles here are truly amazing!). Slow and steady wins the race!
As a new transplant from Manhattan back in 2003, I truly got culture shock. No joke, after the 1st week, I was ready to pack up and leave. My only saving grace was that my stuff, being shipped from the mainland, had not arrived so I had to stay put for a while.
In a Hurried World
We live in a world of immediate gratification.
There truly is no doubt about that! Our amazing technologically dynamic modern day world involves real time instant purchases, custom order pizzas guaranteed to our doorstep in 30 minutes (or less), and instant communication at our finger tips.
Productivity skyrockets, whether you are a stay at home mom (SAHM), a successful entrepreneur or a fashion/ lifestyle/travel blogger. There are tools of every variety to help you get your act together, get your ducks in a row and GET THINGS DONE.
It may seem that productivity and patience are polarities. Like the stop light, one signifies go and the other stop.
In fact, our lives are so full, and so complexed that many of us have forgotten how to be patient. Not only do we need to be reminded, we need to continually practice patience.
“Patience is a Virtue”
Defined in the dictionary, the word virtue means:
- “moral excellence,
- what is right,
- what is good,
- a positive quality or
- a power of a thing.”
When I apply the definition of virtue to patience, here’s what I get: patience is good, patience is right, patience is power.
Power, you say?
Being patient gives me power?
For me, yes. I learned to harness my power on Maui. But not in the beginning.
In the beginning, the idea of patience made me feel as though I had no power what-so-ever.
You see, I lived on the islands for over 5 years, and it changed me.
Being on the island of Maui transformed my way of life, of seeing the world and of processing what I saw.
Maui allowed me to work with the other end of the pendulum that Manhattan (NYC, The Big Apple) was on: patience, presence, and power alike. All of which are inner qualities important to me to live a life worthy and true to the essence of who I am and who I’ve come to be.
In Manhattan, I operated on the lack of patience and going at a pace so quick that presence was not an option. I was super productive and got things done, but life - glorious, beautiful, heart-opening life was elusive. In a different sort of power, I was living a different dream in Manhattan. I was conquering all ... but myself.
On mother Maui, magic unfolded for me only after I committed myself, albeit reluctantly, to being still to learn the lessons that Patience had to teach me.
On Maui, I learned about the deafening loudness of silence. Even so, as I leaned into it, and allowed it to transform me, I learned how to be still and what to do as I waited on God.
Rather than productivity in business, being still allowed me to be productive in a different way.
I was transformed from surviving to thriving. Where I once felt like I had to search for my spouse, on Maui, my spouse found me. Where I thought I lacked, I discovered great abundance! Where I felt I had to keep up so I could be “good enough, to make enough, to be enough,” I learned on Maui ... that I am. I simply am.
I am enough.
This is powerful.
Waiting on God
What do you do when you are feeling impatient while waiting on God? How do you learn patience and how does one go about cultivating power?
While you wait, the key is to keep yourself engaged and connected to your spiritual Source. Mindful presence is a practice to cultivate patience. For me, patience is a spiritual practice.
Being patient is a practice of waiting on God.
Good things after all, take time. Fruit, be it on trees or our flesh and blood offspring, takes time to ripen.
Being patient is time better spent than pandering and pining on the idea of “are we there yet?”
Below are 3 steps to practice patience while you are in the “L.A.G.”
How to Be Patient in the L.A.G.
The “L.A.G.” are the 3 steps and the acronym I use to remind myself of what to do when I am feeling impatient. It is when I cannot stand to wait, and I truly DO NOT WANT TO WAIT that this practice comes in most useful.
“L.A.G.” is a distraction technique that is not a distraction at all but a way to deeply connect myself to a mindful, moment-to-moment practice of presence, and thus patience.
Here’s are the three things you need to do to practice patience as you wait on God.
Step 1: LISTEN.
The best way I go about listening is to practice meditation. In order to know what to do and how to do it, we must be able to hear with our spiritual ears, what ours is to do in the first place. We can engage in meditation at anytime. At anytime, we can open our spiritual ears to listen.
For me, Listening is an art and a practice. It requires vigilance and mindful, indirect attention. I may be cooking, doing laundry, or taking a stroll and I’ll hear a whisper.
Meditation AS a way of Life.
We can integrate the practice of listening through moving meditation, eating meditation and virtually any activity with mindful presence. Being open and available through a meditative state allows me to hear the message of the invaluable insight I need to know. In a sense, I practice patience by distracting myself to be present. It is kind of a oxymoron, isn’t it? Although it is perfectly appropriate, and many choose this option, listening through meditation does not need to be done in one stint, like a silent retreat. We can do it simply by being still and present.
Step 2: ASK.
A common wisdom teaching is to “ask and you shall receive.” I ask through my affirmative prayer practice. I affirm what I ask for as though it is already so. I give thanks in advance for what I asked for knowing that answered prayer is already on its way. Harnessing the power of the word, the universe responds in kind, and delivers to me the message that I receive through listening (meditation).
Step 3: GUIDED ACTION.
In faithful obedience, I take guided action as a necessary next step. Knowing that good guides me allows me to be faithful and earnestly take steps to secure my good. To be perfectly honest, taking guided action is a courageous step in faith.
Knowing that regardless of situation or circumstance, despite what is viable, I know that my deep faith in the good of what is to unfold overrides any fear. So long as I am aligned on my heart, I use my head to take action as I am guided.
Next time you feel impatient, remember the L.A.G. :: Listen, Ask and take Guided Action.
You will find yourself powerful beyond measure as your harness the Light that expresses as you.
Learning to distract yourself while in the L.A.G. by working with mindful, moment-to-moment presence is powerful.
Power, versus strength is virtuous. We must all strive for what is right and good, yes? After all, we must remember to leave the world a worthy place for our children ... And this begins with us, every single one of us.
Please Raise Awareness and Share The Love ❤️
How about that, Loves? Please share your thoughts as you are called.
What do you think of the 3 Steps of the L.A.G. technique? Are you willing to give it a try?
Which do you feel you have down pat, and which do you think you need more time to work on?
Who has been a good example of patience for you?
Do you practice patience for another of got yourself?
What do you do when you find yourself impatient?
What physical exercise(s) do you do to release tension when you feel impatient or stressed?
Do you feel you are inherently a patient person or an inherently impatient person?