“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am a hustler. A busy body. It’s very hard for me to sit still. This makes me very productive but I can easily fall into anxiety and miss out on the moment. Which is ironic because I am a yoga instructor. (Side note: that’s why I do yoga, to practice slow and still. It basically saved my life and led me to restoration and healing🤪) But little people have a way of slowing us down. They are not distractions from the work we want or need to do. They are the teachers of how to live at a pace where we can be more fully invested in what we are doing.
My 2 year old is surprisingly patient. More patient than myself. I didn’t expect that.
Like the sparrow in our yard, she does one thing at a time. She shows me that she trusts me to follow through when I tell her I will do something for her in a few minutes. She says “I waiting.”
And she does. She waits in expectation for me to follow through. And more often than not I am intentional about following through so that I can keep her trust.
I want to live this way for myself though as well. I want to go through my life trusting that if I am patient, if I slow down, I will be taken care of. God will take care of me. If I do my part I can trust Him to do His. (Not in an entitled way but as a child who trusts her reliable parent to follow through.
Part of why I move so much, so fast, trying to do all the things, is because I learned a long time ago that I need to take care of myself because people are unreliable. First of all, it turns out that isn’t even true. Plenty of people are reliable. My husband is very reliable. But even before marrying him I had already adopted that script to play in my head. For so long I lived like that was true. And honestly, sometimes it is true…not everyone is reliable and boundaries in those relationships are necessary.
But overall, I’m deciding that the script that says “I have to be on top of everything all the time as self preservation” does not serve me anymore. I’m slowly letting go of it so I can slow down. This allows room in my life former peace and for more quiet moments. Keeping it real though, this is still hard for me. But I intentionally take time to put my phone down, to pause on chores to hug my kid and play with her, to take a break from work to give my husband snuggles.
And things work out better because I don’t totally miss out on my days, on my relationships, on creative work, on self development. The things I need and even some of what I want will come and a lot of it is already here! I will show up and do the work, and that’s enough. And thank God I don’t have to do it all today. I will do what I can do and I can wait for what the blessings to come and I can be present enough to see the blessings that are here now. I don’t have to throw a tantrum in the waiting time. I can practice patience; waiting peacefully in expectation.
How to practice patient living:
Set boundaries with Mama’s screen time. Social Media can make me feel like I have to keep up with what all these other women have and what they’re doing instead of following my instinct for what me and family actually need. I unfollow people who lead to toxicity for me, and I am setting the boundary to only check it during my work hours in the afternoon and evening when she’s asleep. This also prevents me from being distracted all the time when I’m with my family.
Alone time: I try to carve out alone time in the mornings for reflection and to quiet my mind, body, and spirit. Lately I’ve taken up jogging early in the morning before my family wakes up which helps me to clear my mind and focus a bit before pouring myself out for my family all day. Sometimes I do yoga and have coffee before they walk up which helps me get grounded. When I have time where I don’t have to give to other people I have a more calm spirit and I can be more present. This carries into my days in such spectacular ways!
Get outside: I once read that 5 minutes in the grass while barefoot can lower your cortisol levels. (that’s the famous stress hormone) We were designed to live in connection to nature and so much research proves that spending time outdoors effects us mentally and physically.
You got this mama! And we’re in this with you:)