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Friday, February 29, 2008

Patience: Is it Really a Virtue?

Baelo Claudia, Tarifa, SPAIN
Today I want to write a little bit about patience, because mine has been sorely tried over the past two weeks due to the fact that I broke my wrist in multiple places. Patience has never really been one of my strengths and therefore this particular incident in my life at a time where I was moving many projects and plans forward with relatively fast-paced motion, has caused me to look with much greater detail at the fact that patience may actually be something very important even in my very impatient life.

Interestingly enough, the day after I broke my arm. I was scheduled to teach a workshop titled: The Now Moment: Using the Now Moment to Release Stress, Problems, and Anxiety. Due to the fact that by the time I came out of the emergency room with my hand-to-elbow cast in place it was already quite late in the evening, I decided that it was far more complicated canceling or postponing the workshop than continuing with it as planned despite a relatively high degree of pain on my part.

So, the next morning found me bright and early at the very lovely venue, where I was going to teach the workshop, thinking to myself: I am probably the best example at this particular moment in time to explain to the attendees of the workshop what remaining in the now moment signifies, or what not remaining in the now moment may signify. It was in fact rather ironic.

This was not the first time I had taught this workshop. Furthermore, the now moment is a subject to which I have given a great deal of thought, especially due to another time in my life when I had been diagnosed with cancer and living in the now moment had become particularly important for me. Therefore, the fact that I had been hurrying along, oblivious to the now moment, just before I slipped and fractured my wrist, seems to be a somewhat painful but timely lesson about the subject of patience and living in the now.

Not only had I not been paying attention to the now moment, but I had been worrying about the fact that I was arriving slightly late to an appointment - a personal appointment - and I had actually been having an inner dialogue in which I was telling myself that arriving a few minutes late was not such a big deal and that I really shouldn't rush that much, that I should slow down, and that I should take it easy. As I continued to think about the fact that I had - by force of necessity - been obliged to put the person I was seeing off several times in the past, and therefore was feeling greater bites of conscience for arriving a few moments late, and was therefore obviously not in the now moment, but off somewhere in my thoughts, and furthermore walking far too quickly in order to compensate for the lateness of my arrival, I went in the wrong direction, realized it at the last moment, corrected the direction by swiveling on my boot heel, and slipped and fell. Due to the speed of my motion, my fall was particularly spectacular, fracturing not only my wrist, but leaving me with numerous very large and very black bruises.

This whole scenario, of not being mindful, and the subsequent fall, along with the fact that the Now Moment Workshop was scheduled for the very next morning, appeared to be telling me … reiterating and underlining … that this was something much more important in my life, than even I assumed.

I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in connections and reasons for things happening. Patience may be a virtue about which I am also learning a few lessons, but in particular, being in the NOW is vital. Not only for our physical well-being, as in this case, but for our psycho-emotional and spiritual well-being as well.

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