Patience: Learning to Slow Your Roll

If someone would have told me 20 years ago that in 20 years I'd be writing a blog on the benefits of patience, I would have hurried them through to the end of their sentence, rolling my eyes, while impatiently waiting for them to get to the next topic of conversation. When my dad was alive he would tease me that patience was never my strong suite. Somewhere over the rainbow he's doing a little dance because I think I can honestly say, "I get it!" Sure, it took years of meditation and contemplation, but I think I finally get it.

I was in my usual meditative space this morning asking for insight on what this blog should be about. (It's very normal for me to meditate before writing for inspiration.) And there it was in great big letters in my mind's eye. Patience: Learning to "Slow Your Roll" - and, all of a sudden, the blog started to write itself. While silently laughing to myself, I began to watch the movie my meditation was playing for me.

The first scene in my meditation was Christmas morning when I was a kid. I grew up in a family that wanted for nothing. Christmas morning at our house looked like a scene out of a movie when the owner of a department store shows his appreciation for a child's good deed by shipping over a mountain of gifts for the whole family - presents stacked high and wide and deep. When I was a kid on Christmas morning, I barely got the wrapping paper off of one present before diving into the next one. "What's next? What's next? What's next?" would have been the cartoon thought bubble over my head. I was not a patient child, to say the least.

Then my meditation took me from my living room as a kid to a more modest Christmas where a child had only one present to open. I watched this child with a huge smile on his face take his time to patiently unwrap his gift. He opened the box slowly and pulled out the gift inside and I watched him really and truly appreciate the gift that was inside. I noticed that because there wasn't the anticipation of more gifts distracting him that he was really able to "be" with the gift in his hands. There was no, "what's next?" thought bubble so he really just enjoyed what he had.

At this point in the mediation, I couldn't tell if i was watching a lesson in the less-is-more category, or the dangers-of-spoiling realm, or something else. So, I remained patient and continued to watch the movie in my head.

The next thing that my meditation showed me was a Root Chakra - the energy center based at the bottom of the spinal column. I now knew where this Zen Room Lesson was headed. A healthy Root Chakra is very much at ease and at peace with the here and now. It is satisfied with the present moment without looking back at the past or out into the future.

For the first 30 years of my life, I'd have to say that I was on the "what's next?" train. I was either obsessed with climbing the company ladder or getting that next big break or taking the next logical step in my personal life. My friends would tease me that I was always off to the races in some direction. But what I'm finding with my life now (after 40 some odd years) is the joy I'm finding in slowing my roll long enough to just enjoy the ride. It doesn't mean that I'm not curious about what's ahead, I just don't feel anxious about it anymore. It's more of a "that will be interesting to watch unfold" attitude as opposed to my old "gotta make it happen, now, now, now!" attitude.

I didn't get the sense that my meditation was showing me that I should just chill on the couch while loosing my drive. Not at all, in fact. I clearly got that I shouldn't confuse patience with laziness or fear of moving forward.

My meditation ended with a reminder that while we are actively co-creating our lives, there is a bigger energy working with us. I was reminded of the importance of holding a little space for magic to happen and that we don't want to rush a rose in bloom. There is a value to letting the flower unfold in its own time while simply (and patiently) enjoying the budding process. And having a very healthy, grounded Root Chakra can assist one in entering a chapter of patience.

Much beauty can be found by being grounded. I guess humans and flowers have that in common.

-Dawn Marie. © Copyright, 2016, The Zen Room