Time and patience

“Have patience, plant your feet firmly on the ground. Wait for the tide to ebb away and there you will be, where you have always been but you didn’t know it. Right here on the shore, unwavering, happy and more alive than ever “

Journal entry December 2015

This journal entry always makes me smile.  Odd because it was a particularly painful period of my journey into mindfulness but it was as if the answer was calling out to me at the time, wait, be patient, all will be well.

Mindfulness and meditation can be pretty difficult at times. When I first started practicing, I desperately wanted to get rid of pain, anxiety and stress.  I thought that I had the answer to all of this.  I would sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day and all my dreams would come true.  Little did I know.

Around about the time of this journal entry, I was really struggling to meditate, my legs would go stiff, I would get cramp and it was a test of will to carry on with it, my mind completely distracted.

Luckily there was something inside telling me to just be patient, to stick with it, that this is a lesson, there is something to be learnt from sticking with it.  I put my trust into the practice and let it do its work.

It is so beautiful, so vibrant, so vital, I find it hard to put into words at times.   Mindfulness and meditation can turn your world around if you just allow it.

It has taught me that my mind is chaotic at times and that is ok, that’s just how it is.  It also has taught me that my mind also wants the chance to be peaceful and to examine what it is like to just be at peace, to just breathe or to just listen to sounds. Simple and beautiful.

It has taught me that I am stronger than I think I am.  If the proverbial hits the fan, whether it be in meditation or in everyday life, I am much more comfortable now just letting it be, to just stick with  it and be patient and wait for the tide to ebb away.

My initial desire for the practice to rid me of all the aches and pains of life  like some sort of end goal, well the practice turned that all upside down.  It has helped me to see that the aches and pains are all part of life.  Anxiety and stress still come, but my relationship to them has changed.  I am not clinging on to them as much or trying to push them away. There is less of a battle going on, they come and go like clouds rolling by in the sky.

Occasionally they will take over and  I find myself in the old spiral downwards, but the difference is I can can see it happening and can take steps to come back, a kindness and compassion kicks in.  It is the practice at work.

My regular readers will know this, but over time the story gets quieter, my posts have probably got shorter, things get simpler.

In truth I have found it harder to write about this year, there is a simple beauty in this practice that words cannot adequately provide.  It is completely experiential.  Truth and wisdom emerges from the silence. If there is a constant narrative going on, or lots of chatter going on in my mind, I know I need to practice some more.

So the end of a year, I thank the practice for the things it has taught me, the things it allows me to see so clearly.  There is more to come I know, always will be, this is a practice that will stay with me for life.

“If the tide comes back in, you will always know now what is underneath.  Plant your feet firmly on the ground, be patient, what is underneath those waves, beneath the commotion, is something quite beautiful”

Journal entry December 2017