It’s been a little while since I shared a core value with you. That said, I think this next one is appropriate. I want to talk about patience. If you are anything like me, you want what you want, when you want it! And if you can’t have it immediately, you want to know when it’s coming. Unfortunately, that is not always how life works. I often use the, “blade of grass,” analogy in my classes. It may look like nothing is happening on top of the soil but underneath there is a a world of life and action. We have no idea in what moment a seed is about to shoot a sprout form underneath, but inevitably, it will. This is how I try to approach dance, sex ,art… life! There is a season for everything. Sometimes we see insane amounts of progress in our lives and things seem to be happening effortlessly. Other times it’s like we are stuck in the mud and there is no indication that we will ever get out.
This is when a super power called, patience, comes in.
When we can call on this quality of being we can actually create space and serenity in our lives, rather than anxiously waiting, or even demanding for our desires to be realized. We can sit calmly and give it room to materialize and meet us. Our ability to be patient, allows us to accept reality and trust life. We allow the path of least resistance to guide us. On the contrary, when we are engaged in forcing energy, we are skeptical, irritable, and fearful and it takes more effort to engage with life this way. In fact, it is exhausting.
We can sit calmly and give it room to materialize and meet us.
On the dance floor we practice being patient with our bodies. We take our time as they warm up and find their flow, rather than forcing movement or pushing our bodies beyond their capacity. This keeps us safe and keeps our movement practice sustainable. We also practice waiting for creative inspiration. Creativity doesn’t respond well to forcing energy. It needs room and space to emerge- it’s not on a schedule!
This is also true of our sensual and sexual expressions. When we smother our sex with expectation and demand, in most cases it smolders out. It’s like making a fire. We must patiently build the foundation and take all the necessary steps to bring a tiny spark to a rip-roaring fire. We stoke and tend to it as necessary to keep it hot and alive. Sometimes the fire is wild and full of dancing flames, and other times it is a pile of hot coals on the brink of going out. Our sex is the same, it takes time to build, and continuously ebbs and flows.
Having the patience to attune to its needs in the moment is key to keeping it healthy and alive.
With people in our lives, to practice patience is to practice compassion. I often feel an impulsive need to share, explain, correct, or address a situation that feels uncomfortable for me. One of the best tools I have cultivated in this regard is patience. I really like the, “24-hour rule.” If I have an impulse to address an uncomfortable situation with someone I will often wait 24-hours as a rule of thumb. What I have found, is that often, my feelings will change in and it no longer has the urgency it once did.
Sometimes, it has resolved itself completely.
Lastly, it is so, so, so, useful to practice patience with our emotional states. We all know intellectually, that, nothing is permanent. Sometimes though, when we are feeling really hard intense feelings, it is difficult to imagine there will be an end to it. It is crucial to be patient here, and to find acceptance and trust. Trust, that what we know is true, that everything changes in time, will be true on the other side. And accept, that we have no control over when that might be. We just have to be patient in the mean time.
Is there somewhere in your life right now where you could practice being patient?
With yourself? A friend? A desire? Invite patience, acceptance and trust in to your heart and see if it’s possible to create a little more room for yourself in the meantime. Can you let go of the grasping?
Can you allow this time to be just what it is?