Have you ever thought “why is this taking SO long?” or “things are happening for others but not for me”. These thoughts are very common, so when they occur it’s wise to listen compassionately. Impatience is a sensation inside our bodies which is communicating with us and can teach us life lessons. Here are 5 tips that help us dissolve anxiety when we feel impatient:
1) Don’t try to rush things that need time to grow
Impatience occurs when fear tries to interfere with our natural unfolding. We are like unique plants that need time to grow and flower. Just because fear might compare our journey to another persons journey and conclude we are slower, doesn’t mean we have failed. Life is about taking the scenic route and growing slowly along the way. Every event that occurs along our life path is preparing us for what we want and what we asked for. Why rush life? Don’t smash the chrysalis before the butterfly has emerged - enjoy every magical moment of our unfolding.
2) Things can happen in a different order
Nature is always preparing us and enabling our conscious expansion. Nature is in charge of our timeline and knows what lessons we need to learn and in what order. Fear, driven by insecurity and lack tries to interfere and push things forward. Simply know what you want and then surrender. Allow the universe to connect the dots. It will create a magical, unique picture. Many times the universe has a more beautiful plan than we could ever imagine. When impatient we lose access to the bigger picture and are unable to widen our perspective. We can learn to let go of the specifics and allow nature to provide what we need in whatever order IT decides. Embrace uncertainty, trust in the universe, and enjoy the beauty of becoming.
3) Meditate and visualize a meadow
I lovingly designed this meditation to cultivate patience. We will be using breath awareness, body scanning and a beautiful meadow visualization. The more times you practice this meditation the more patient you will become. A meadow arises when grassland is allowed to return back to it's natural state. Effortless meditation also arises when the mind is allowed to return back to it's natural state (which is calm). When we allow all thoughts to be as they are, we create the conditions for calmness and patience to arise. Each day is different, sometimes the mind is releasing more stress and there are more thoughts. That's okay. Yes, it may take time to establish calm, just as it takes time to establish a meadow. That's fine, we are enjoying the scenic route. During this meditation there is no rush...we will be giving the mind plenty of time to wander, and plenty of time to return to the guidance.
If you would prefer non-guided meditation I recommend learning Transcendental Meditation www.tm.org
4) Be what you have become
Sometimes impatience manifests as an uncomfortable form of excitement. This is because our inner being has expanded. There may be another fearful part that is afraid to take the next step. Our inner beings are always expanding and moving forward however fear creates procrastinating. This discord feels like an elastic band is being stretched, and the stretching creates the feeling of impatience. The only way we can feel better is to let go of our fears and move forward. Life is always causing us to expand and change. Impatience can sometimes occur when we hold ourselves in resistance to our expansion. If we stand still it will only be a matter of time before the discomfort is so great, we have no choice but to let go and move forward.
5) Know impatience serves no useful purpose
We may have convinced ourselves that we need an impatient feeling to propel us forward. If we didn’t feel anxious then how would we stimulate ourselves into action? This is like saying we need an electric prod when riding a horse. There are less painful ways to create enthusiasm and drive. We can be kind to ourselves; the thoughts associated with impatience do not make us feel good. Impatient thoughts cause cortisol (stress) levels to rise and deplete our energy. It is far better to reach for positive thoughts, set realistic goals and live in a state of appreciation. When we feel good we get more things done.
By Aruna Shields (CHP, MBCT) Therapist, Meditation Teacher & Mentor