The unexpected delay may have triggered worrisome thoughts about your ability to complete the tasks on your agenda, or whether you could reach your appointment/meeting on time. You might have thought about how you could you have used that time to do something fun or productive.
I mention this scenario because being delayed in traffic jams is universally accepted as an annoying experience. That makes it the perfect metaphor for other significant things that slow us down in life such as career challenges, health problems, relationship complications, lack of finances, etc.
No matter how much clarity we have about what we want in life, the unfolding of events will not always follow our timeline. There will be a lot of unexpected pit stops along the journey, which may take much longer than we anticipated.
When delays are out of our control, we can choose to react in two ways: we can either surrender to it or resist it.
For most of my life, I resisted almost everything that slowed me down. As a go-getter, I wanted to see instant results of my hard work and efforts. Whether I was dealing with relationships or career matters, I wanted everything to run on “Seline time”.
This was a heavy burden that wore me out on all levels. I was unaware of how much this was weighing me down until I began working with a wonderful coach in my 20s. She brought this unhealthy urgency to my attention and identified the harsh and critical voice of my gremlin that was behind it.
By working with my internal gremlin, I was gradually able to release my mental grip which opened the doorway for a sense of deep inner peace. I came to accept the fact that most dreams require a gestation period, no matter how much effort I put into it. Waiting for things to develop was a necessary part of the process!
In this way, I came to respect the natural flow of life – a flow that is orchestrated by a wiser force outside the realm of our consciousness. If we want to live in harmony with this natural flow, it is essential for us to temper our intelligence with a sense of humility and openness.
A humility that reminds us of how limited our perception of the world is when compared to a universal consciousness that runs the show of the entire cosmos. One of the easiest ways to feel an instant sense of humility is by spending time in nature.
The next time you find yourself surrounded by nature’s beauty, take a moment to notice all the plants and animals in your surroundings. You will see how all these Earthly inhabitants are naturally programmed to work with the seasons of life.
Leaves grow in the spring and wilt in the fall. Animals prepare to hibernate in winter and play or gather food reserves in the summer. The caterpillar patiently waits while it develops within its cocoon to ensure a successful transition into its new life as a butterfly.
We experience seasons in our life in a similar way. We have slower periods that can be considered the “winters” of our lives and more active ones that can be considered the “summers”. The time in between are times of transition.
By accepting the seasonal patterns of our lives, we resist the urge to force things to happen sooner than they should. We know that life is in flow and things will eventually shift. If we are doing the right things from a place of purpose, passion and integrity, we will eventually see the fruits of our labor.
I realize that despite knowing this, the wait can be hard (trust me, I’ve been there!) so I have listed a couple of tips that will make the waiting game easier to deal with:
- Create a vision board that inspires you: Fill it with images of the things that you would like to achieve. Keep it somewhere where you can see it on a daily basis.
- Reflect and review your current strategy: Sometimes, the reason things take longer than you expected is because you might be doing something wrong. Get feedback and review your plan.
- Focus on being happy NOW: If we are overly focused on building our future, there is a tendency to deprive ourselves in the present moment. Instead of postponing our happiness, we need to be proactive about creating a life that we love right now.
- Bring your attention to the present with gratitude: The practice of gratitude will bring your attention to all the abundance that is already present in your life, thereby cultivating an abundant mind-set.
So the next time you get tired of waiting for things to happen in your life, remember that life is ultimately about the journey and not the destination. If we are in a hurry to reach our destination, we will miss out on all the wonderful textures and subtle beauty of everyday living.
Hold your dreams close to your heart, work steadily towards them, but don’t forget to look around you and appreciate all the privileges of being alive on this beautiful planet.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What are the steps that you can take to reduce your sense of urgency so that you can appreciate the present moment and enjoy the flow of life?
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