At beginning of 2020, I participated in an art workshop where we each chose a word for the year. Rather than creating specific resolutions, we chose one word as our focus or inspiration for the year. The word I chose was patience. As we navigated that year of unknowns, ending so many conversations with “let’s wait and see,” I had plenty of opportunities to reflect on and practice patience.

What does it really mean to be patient? Is it simply a matter of waiting, of timing? Or is it an inner calmness you bring as you forge ahead anyway? Patience typically seems like a passive quality but is there a way to practice it more dynamically, with greater energy and intention? A large part of patience is accepting things as they are, as the quote from Swami Kriyananda above reminds us.

We cannot skip over the “working with things as they are” and go straight to “change them to whatever we might like them to be.” Even if we’d really like to. Even if it seems that things must change right now. It doesn’t work that way, not with projects and certainly not with people – especially children.

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How often do we try to create change in others or in circumstances to make them what we would like them to be? How often does this work? In my experience, not at all. It often ends in frustration, disappointment, and hurt. Even if our intentions are good and we know someone or something could be better, we must start first with things as they are.

How do we bridge that gap between the current reality and the higher potential, whether in ourselves, in our relationships, in our homes, or in our world? We just stick with it. We don’t give up. We keep holding that higher vision no matter what the current reality. We work with things as we are but we never lose hope.

Through my experience as a teacher, nurturing the growth of both children and adults, I realize that patience is a trust in a longer rhythm, in a bigger picture, in the soul-reality. It is faith in the possibility of miracles and the inevitability of progress and transformation.

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  1. Well articulated dear Erin!A deep Trust within! In gratitude! 😍🙏🌎

  2. Over the years I have struggled with developing patience and have become so frustrated with myself for not demonstrating patience when needed. Your solution is so simple, easy and immediately implementable that I know that there is hope for me. I understand that It will take time but I now know how to begin.

  3. This has been my lesson for 2021, learning the deepest parts of patience. Yogananda and the community have certainly helped me navigate this.

  4. This is a tremendously timely and uplifting deeper understanding of patience. The image of gritted teeth I often associate with patience gives way to a vision of holding up one’s own evolving understanding of what the highest resolution might look like. The way you wrote about this helped me seat myself a little more firmly in eternity instead of the frustrating now.

  5. Beautiful Erin,
    Thank you. Patience is Awareness, Acknowledgement, and Acceptance in Action!

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