- Ricka Robb Kohnstamm
"We just have to be patient"... but how?
Patience may be considered a virtue, but I am quite certain that "waiting" is not.
Waiting for test results, waiting for cancer staging, waiting to find out if our child is going to be OK. Waiting for the COVID test, waiting for the result of the PET scan, waiting for the results of the genetic testing, waiting for hospice to begin, waiting to know if your name will be on the list for the next set of layoffs.
Waiting for the results of an important election.
It can feel as though the future is hanging on a very slim thread.
When will the discomfort of waiting be eased by an answer? Waiting can be extremely uncomfortable and there is simply no way around that.
Patience, however, can be cultivated and practiced as a tool that can help us endure the discomfort of waiting until we emerge on the other end of the dark tunnel.
Today is a perfect time to make a choice to practice patience...
Reframe discomfort into compassion for yourself and others Instead of tightening down into hair-pulling discomfort or feeding your own site-specific rabbit hole, sit consciously, bring your attention to the support the chair is providing for your back and your hips, notice the floor firmly below your feet, and then bring your attention up and out into a larger view. Listen to the sounds in the room, notice the texture of the chair, mindfully sip your cup of coffee. Release. Allow your mind to move to the larger picture and hear my voice quietly say to you "What else is possible? How else might this story evolve?"
Incorporate a meditation or mindfulness practice Get out your MUSE biofeedback headband and practice quieting the desert sand until you hear birds. If you are an ocean person, quiet the waves and be rewarded by birdsong. Or put in your headphones and listen to a quiet, guided meditation on Calm. Guided meditation is an important resource to quiet the mind intent on digging deeper into the rabbit hole. But you have to get yourself to the proverbial meditation mat and start. Hear my voice quietly say to you "What might be the advantages of giving guided meditation a try?"
Practice sitting with the discomfort instead of running from it Increase your capacity to simply sit with discomfort. Instead of frantically nailing up boards to keep it from coming through your door, invite it in. Explore it. Ask it questions. Treat it with gentle kindness. Hear my voice quietly say to you "What does the discomfort have to teach you right now?"
I walk alongside my clients everyday, helping them learn from all sorts of discomforts, including practicing patience while waiting through very difficult circumstances. If you would find that structure and guidance useful in your own life, I invite you to call me to set up a time to meet. Yes, we just have to be patient. And there are helpful ways to practice easing the discomfort while we are waiting.
We all have choice, even when it isn't apparent. Our actions, aligned with our values, support optimal health.