We have forgotten how to wait; it is almost an abandoned space. We want everything in a hurry. It is a great loss to humanity In silence and waiting something inside you goes on growingyour authentic being. And one day it jumps and becomes a flame, and your whole personality is shattered; you are a new man. And this new man knows what ceremony is, this new man knows lifes eternal juices.
I pulled up to a pump at the ARCO station on Topanga Canyon Boulevard near Ventura Boulevard. Id come in from the Topanga entrance and then noticed a woman who may have been waiting for the same pump. After considering going about my business, I chose instead to ask her. She said, yeah, shed been waiting, but it was no big deal. We got into a friendly discussion about patience, the seeming lack of it in the world today, and the sweetness thats available in these moments of doing nothing.
I used to despise waiting. I had things to do, places to gosuch a big shot in my own mind. Im different now. As Liz Taylor says in her book A Wreath of Roses, It is very strange that the years teach us patiencethat the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting. I must be getting old. I have all the time in the worldat least for what is important.
I have a history with waiting. As a kid, Id wait for my dad to visit, and he didnt always show. Understandably, waiting began to make me nervous. As I grew, like an adventurer seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I rushed toward what I hoped would be a happy ending and a better me. Of course, as I moved, the pot moved too. Its an illusion. Today, my life is the pot of gold and Im good with who I am. Im living a happy middle, and I want to savor every moment, including the moments I wait in line. I dont want to rush through this or any other phase of my life. Were all assured of the final success. Why hurry to get there?
When I find myself waiting in public, I often use the time to look around and connect with another live person. Kids are great, the younger the better, before the guards are fully installed. A couple of weeks ago, I eye gazed with a five-month-old baby at Fresh in Topanga for several minutes, both of us spontaneously overflowing with intermittent smiles of delight. What could be a better use of time? That moment held benefits for us and anyone witnessing. With such pure, joy-filled energy, we may have done more on a quantum level to heal the planet than an entire activist campaign.
Claire Davis says, Shamans never wait.
If Im sitting in my car, I can breathe, sing, work with my posture, look around at this miraculous world. As I wait to fall asleep, I can do a gratitude list. Every moment holds magical opportunity.
In sixth grade, I read the beautiful childrens classic, "The Little Prince." I love it so much that I checked out a copy from the library and am reading it aloud with my man. In it is a passage about waiting which Ive remembered for 35 years, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote: If you come at 4:00 in the afternoon, then by 3:00 I shall begin to be happy. I shall be happier and happier as the hour advances. By 4:00 I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you.... One must observe the proper rites .
This quote speaks more of anticipation than of waiting in general, but whats the difference? Anticipation is waiting for something we desire, appreciate, and expect to enjoy, a mind set which is completely within our control. Its a simple adjustment of attitude, perhaps from entitlement to appreciation, from I have to get gas, to Thank goodness theres still gas to get; I have a way to pay for it, a car to put it in, and a place to drive.
When we feel impatient, is it possible that a little humility is in order?
This is an abundant life. When, at your core, you trust to lifes goodness, waiting becomes anticipation. You can begin to look for the gift, the cosmic reason for delay, the hidden opportunity to relish being alive again. Perhaps youd forgotten for a moment that you are a miracle, precious and unique in all the world. Perhaps youd lost touch with how fortunate you are, with how many people you love and who love you. Perhaps you simply needed a good deep breath.
This month, I invite you to savor each moment, trusting that there is a gorgeous, rich, cosmic plan for your life, and you are on time for it. Take a moment, especially when you think you are too busy, to relax. You have all the time in the world, and you get to choose how you use it.
Sage Knight is a local author, editor, and writing coach with a background in spiritual counseling and holistic health. Please visit her at www.SageKnightWrites.com.