The Power of PatienceHow To Overcome Irritation, Frustration & Anger With Ease
by Nathaniel Simha | Heart Advice
Do you sometimes feel
as though your goals and aspirations can lead you to feel impatient or unsatisfied with the way things are right now?
Can you imagine how cultivating a deeper sense of patience would help you live in every moment with greater ease?
Adopting patience as a spiritual practice means embracing the belief that we are exactly where we need to be. Patience requires trust and faith that everything will come to you in the perfect moment. It means accepting that the present moment is the only place in which life unfolds.
As such, we should do our best to
be here, now
instead of putting conditions on our happiness, by impatiently waiting for something else to come along.
I have just three things to teach:
Simplicity, Patience & Compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
– Lao Tzu
Working with Goals & Letting Go of the Outcome
When we feel as though patience is required, it is typically because there is a goal we imagine realizing in the future. To some extent, although we are “here”, we may feel as though we need to be “there”. The belief we hold about what should happen may have been chosen by us, or given to us by some outside source. However, this belief can keep us from truly feeling contentment and gratitude in our lives. For instance, when we fail to achieve a certain goal, we become impatient, and desire our reality to be different than what it is, making life seem so much harder. There are an infinite number of forces that can potentially interfere with our ability to reach our goals. We cannot control our reality, all we can do is our very best in this moment. If we attempt to manipulate the flow of life, at times we may feel successful, yet more often than not, circumstances will result in life unfolding differently than we had imagined. This may cause much unnecessary suffering. As the goal of life is happiness, the most important thing to remember is that regardless of the goal we are pursuing, maintaining our inner peace is our highest priority.
Learn to See How Impatience obstructs YOur ability to trust & Surrender
Do you ever notice yourself becoming impatient? Perhaps it is because your goals were not achieved as quickly as you would have liked, or that you need to cultivate a deeper faith in order to wholeheartedly believe that you are exactly where you need to be. Impatience is the mind’s way of living in the future. It is our way of closing to the present moment, and saying, “Life, you are preventing me from getting where I want to be.” Our desire to escape the present moment is born from our capacity to imagine a reality alternate to the one that we are experiencing right now. All activity that is taking place in the cosmos is in a constant state of flux. It is ever-changing and impermanent. As such, this moment is our only reality. There’s nowhere else we can be, it is only the mind that brings us out of the perfection of this moment, for even when our environment and life situation changes, we are always in the here and now.
Am I better off making up an alternate reality in my mind and then fighting with reality to make it be my way, or am I better off letting go of what I want and serving the same forces of reality that managed to create the entire perfection of the universe around me?
– Mickey A. Singer, The Surrender Experiment
The practice of Non-Resistance
When we become aware that feelings of impatience have emerged, we may ask ourselves two questions to regain clarity:
- Why am I feeling impatient and not accepting where I am at this moment?
- In order to feel peaceful again, should I :
a) let go of my desire to achieve this goal, or
b) encourage myself to be patient, accepting reality as it is, and continue to move towards my goal?
After asking ourselves these questions, we may realize that when impatience is present, it is not always a sign that we must relax. Sometimes, it is an indication that we are focusing our energy in the wrong way. Impatience may be telling us that we are straying from the path and that the Universe is asking us to surrender our will instead of trying to manipulate life. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide whether we should abandon our pursuit or continue. The key is awareness; being conscious of what we are trying to achieve and why.
moving forward without personal preference
The pursuit of any goal requires the use of our will power, the inner drive we have to keep moving forward, even in the face of adversity. Something to be aware of is that the strength of our will power may vary depending on the importance we place on what we are trying to achieve. What determines the level of your will power? Does your will power increase or decrease because of personal preference? Are you able to do everything that life challenges you with, with great love and determination regardless of your likes and dislikes? When we find ourselves at a crossroads trying to determine whether to give up or continue, we must try to understand the cause and effects of our actions. We must try to identify certain ideas that the mind is holding on to. Being honest with ourselves and learning to trust our intuition and follow our heart will always help us in making the wisest choices.
My formula for success was very simple: Do whatever is put in front of you with all your heart and soul without regard for personal results. Do the work as though it were given to you by the universe itself – because it was.
– Mickey A. Singer, The Surrender Experiment
HOW TO CULTIVATE PATIENCE & AWARENESS
Patience is regarded as one of the highest virtues to develop through our spiritual practice. Even when we use our mind as a tool to plan and predict our future for practical reasons, we remain grounded in the awareness that this very moment is the only real truth. Reality is Truth, and Truth is never right or wrong, good or bad. Truth doesn’t take sides, only our thoughts make it seem otherwise. When learned in the right way, meditation and yoga are the perfect practices to help us develop patience. They teach us to embrace our current situation peacefully, and without judgment. We should seek out teachers who encourage us to accept this moment as it IS, and help us realize that we are exactly where we need to be. If we have teachers who focus heavily on what needs to improve, we should distance ourselves from the delivery of their teachings. Just because someone is a teacher, doesn’t mean they have evolved their spiritual practice enough to teach from a place of patience and acceptance. Yoga and meditation are not about getting somewhere, but instead cultivating a love and joy for the entire perfection of the universe at this very moment.
TAKING RIGHT ACTION
Now that we feel assured we are where we need to be, from this place of peace, we may continue developing ourselves spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. We do this purely because taking action is inevitable, and as we are going to take action, it should be right action. From the perfection of this present moment, may perfection continue to emerge. As we develop a greater faith in life, impatience holds less power over us. We see that things do not always happen as we would like them to, and we understand that even though our mind brings us to consider what’s ahead, life is happening here. As we engage in actions that improve our situation, and ourselves, we let go of any attachment to the outcome of the results of our actions. This is known as karma yoga.
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Cultivating the Virtue of Patience Through Affirmations
To help cultivate any virtue, daily affirmations of self-love and healing may be extremely useful. The key is to say your affirmations with the feeling of trust & faith, allowing your affirmation to penetrate every cell of your being. This article concludes with an affirmation you may read aloud to help you cultivate Patience, Presence, and Peace in life, or simply as an inspiration to help you formulate your own. This affirmation can be used periodically throughout the day and is particularily beneficial during yoga nidra practice.