Because future moments result from choices made in the present moment, creating a better future takes time. And, if something takes time, it helps to have patience.
If you live in the industrialized world, it may often seem like you live in a world of machines. Each of the cars and computers, boats and buildings, airplanes and appliances that we rely on to live our lives in comfort is essentially a machine made of machines. So, when something isn’t happening as fast as we would like it to, we are accustomed to repairing or replacing whichever machine isn’t performing to our liking.
Yet, you are not a machine. You are a living being, just like your community, society, and the living world you live in. You are not a machine within a machine within a machine... You are a living being within a living being within a living being… Indeed, you yourself are alive because you are composed of living beings in the form of many trillions of cells and microorganisms.
Creating a better future is more like nurturing the growth of a tree than it is like repairing a car. Planting a seed and then impatiently digging it up to see how fast it’s growing is inherently counterproductive. And, the same is true when planting seeds for a better future.
Instead of impatiently trying to “fix” the perceived flaws of the present, patiently nurture the growth of a better future.Help life to heal and grow into the future you desire.
Remember, life on Earth has flourished without you for over a billion years. So, please give Nature the credit she deserves and have patience with the process of life’s transformation. The future always comes into being at its pace, not yours, no matter how strongly you wish to speed things up.
There are a variety of ways to have more patience. One way is to offer yourself reassurance whenever you feel impatient. Allow yourself to be the reassuring, patient parent to the impatient inner child, repetitively asking “are we there yet?” on life’s long journeys.
Another way to have more patience is to deepen and slow down the rate of your breathing. Start by repeatedly inhaling deeply for a count of 3 seconds and then exhaling for a count of 3 seconds without holding your breath at any point. Once that feels comfortable, continue the practice and increase the count by 1 second. Once that feels comfortable, increase the count again by 1 second, and so on. With practice, slowly and gradually extending the duration to just beyond your comfort zone and no further, you will come to have more and more patience.
Before continuing on to Step 3 of this series, take time now and throughout the day to practice having more patience. See how easily or frequently you become impatient — and have more patience while observing and nurturing the growth of a better future.