How do we cultivate patience?
That’s the prevailing theme for the week. It’s shown up in almost every session with clients. And we all seem to agree: it’s HARD to do patience.
So yes, I’ve been known to ask clients how they cultivate their patience. But I’ve learned it’s not a very effective question. And now I’m considering that maybe it’s more about why we find patience so difficult to corral these days.
Of course, the patience problem nips at my heels too, as I struggle to contain the part of me that wants to run headlong toward too many things. Even though I’m intimately familiar with this impatient inner kid who seeks distractions so she won’t have to settle down to what’s right in front of her, it doesn’t make it any easier.
In fact, I’d venture to say it’s gotten harder in the past ten years.
So today I’m thinking that it’s actually the buildup of distractions in our world that’s made my patience muscles go all weak and puny. In other words, more distractions over time = less patience skills.
Yeah. But how do we cultivate patience?!
Truth is, I don’t know.
So I took up my art journal, hoping an image would appear. It did.
Patience, apparently, has blue eyes and blue hair.
Beyond that, she’s deeply rooted, emerging from a sturdy tree trunk. Both young and old. She has lines and crow’s feet, but there’s a luminosity that shines through.
Mossy bits cling to her, while tiny buds vine their way up, patiently waiting for the day they’ll bloom.
And Patience is many-ringed. If you were to cut her down (but who would want to?) you could trace her years like you can on a visit to the trees in Muir Woods.
But what does it all mean?
I think Patience is telling us that she’s deep within. Never lost. Just maybe needing some love and attention. And in the act of drawing her out, I feel infinitely more patient.
How do you cultivate your patience?