If patience is a virtue, then I’m not a very virtuous person. In fact, waiting is so hard for me that I had to give up on manicures years ago because I simply don’t have the patience to wait for nail polish to dry. That being said, the delays and hiccups involved in the construction of Three Birds have been challenging for me. Some days, I feel like I need the patience of Job to keep it together. Now, according to the bible, Job is a man who loses everything - his family, his property and his health, so construction setbacks are most definitely a First World problem. But still, waiting is HARD, especially in our have-it-right-now culture.
The definition of patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” In other words, patience isn’t about your ability to wait, but rather how you behave while waiting. Impatience arises when we want to speed up time. We think that when we get to that place in the future - when we get that job, when the renovation is complete, when we lose weight - everything will be better, implying that somehow, what we have right here in the present, isn’t good enough. Eckart Tolle writes in Power of Now (one of the most transformative books I’ve ever read) “Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”
So what can we do to cultivate presence? The answer is simple - just BREATHE! There's no better way to bring yourself into the present moment than to bring your attention to your breath. Conscious breathing anchors us in our bodies and gets us out of our minds where we spend way too much time thinking about things we have very little control over, like the past and the future. We’re able to create more space in the mind to focus on what’s really important - the present moment.
Maybe patience isn’t really a virtue but a skill that can be learned over time. Just like yoga, it’s a practice. So, I’ll just keep breathing and reminding myself that I already have everything I need. And things will unfold as they were meant to - in their own good time.