If you listened to our last episode you probably heard all about the new series we’ll be doing in the blog and podcast. I’ve informally called it the “word” series, from a total lack of imagination on my part, but it’s because I think so much can come with the words that will serve as inspiration for this series of posts and episodes. Just in case you don’t have the slightest idea of what I’m talking about, during our little winter break, which thanks to my vocal cords and never ending cold became a very long winter break, I had a lot of realizations you can hear all about here. It started with some eye opening insights about excess, which will be one of our upcoming episodes, but from there came an avalanche of other creative spurts, all stemming from little words. These powerful little words we use so often without a second thought. Some that define certain aspects of our lives which we might be trying to change, some that can inspire and create great spaces within ourselves, some that can serve as little mantras or guiding lights.
Today’s word as the title suggests is patience. This little one has accompanied me since the start of the year. I told you last week all about the big changes that took place in my life at the beginning of this year, and with it the string of colds, the cough that would never end, the voice that refused to come out when I wanted it to. Add to that the fact that our oldest dog Nala has had some eating issues (as in she has been refusing to eat almost anything we put in front of her for quite a few months now and feeding her has come with so much trial and error and so much experimentation until we’ve found our stride with her). As I’m writing this, our other dog Vega has caught conjunctivitis and is feeling very frustrated as a giant clear plastic cone surrounds her wherever she goes. She bumps into one wall, and then into another as she swivels. She wants to scratch her eyes and can’t no matter what she tries.
Being a teacher, especially of young kids has taught me so much about the magic and challenge that having patience entails, and all of this and so many of the other changes we’ve been going through lately have got me thinking about patience. Patience has been present when I didn’t want to see it and just wanted things my way, and it is of course something you usually can’t muster when you need it the most, noticing the important need for it long after the fact. With all these new changes, learning a whole new methodology at work, working with little kiddos, getting sick and having to get used to a new routine, the pressure to get content for Brownble filmed, edited and out there, going through teacher trainings, etc., I was starting to feel the familiar waves of overwhelm bubbling up to greet me.
I had lost my exercise routine, my meal prep routine, my podcast recording routine, my meditation routine. My entire week had been turned on its head and I was starting to feel I was never going to be able to find my sweet spot again.
I don’t know about you but I love having a routine. It’s an important component of finding that sense of presence with everything I’m doing. When you add all these changes to the fact that I wasn’t feeling that great, well, let’s just say it wasn’t easy. It was however THE greatest thing. I don’t know if I would have realized as much about myself if I hadn’t been forced to be completely out of my comfort zone, with all my comfy routines out of place.
Here are a few of the things that happened:
It was the last magic little pill when it came to my relationship to exercise and my body
I somehow needed my body to force me to stop exercising for over two months to be able to erase years of believing I was doing something wrong if I wasn’t getting a workout in. Although I exercise because I love how I feel when I do, there were still old beliefs about exercise and body image that were lingering around. I don’t think I would have been able to pick at these with chopsticks and bring these out to the light if it hadn’t been for my endless array of kiddo induced colds this winter.
Best thing that ever happened.
My body was still a wonderful powerhouse without a steady exercise routine, and it was almost like a shock to the system and a total reboot when my body finally allowed me to exercise a bit again. It became about the fun of it again, rather than a “should”. All it took was a little patience.
I realized that no state is permanent
Any overwhelm because of the new job, new information, new projects, feeling like my routine was nowhere to be found, that the schedule seemed to shift every time I reached it, everything finds its space. During those moments of overwhelm I was just about to find my groove and simply didn’t know it yet. All it took was a little patience.
That feeling better was also right around the corner
When I got frustrated because my health wasn’t where I wanted it to be, I didn’t know that feeling like myself was just around the corner, all I had to do was let my body do its thing and heal. Again, patience.
That work that piled up would be dealt with, one step at a time
When I was starting to get worried about how all my new responsibilities and Brownble would fit together. When I didn’t know when on Earth I would find the time to create all the content I wanted to create, or plan my classes, or answer all the emails we get on a daily basis, all it took was a little extra time of feeling slightly uncomfortable. That’s it, just a bit more time to get used to a new routine. Just a bit more patience to get to that place.
That the sun comes out when patience settles in
The biggest lesson of all was that one day, when you least expect it to, the sun is out and you find yourself with one little moment, a chance to add in what you’ve been missing to feel more like yourself. You notice that it’s what we do when those moments happen, how we choose to see them, that can forge that new path you’ve been looking for. Those little moments of just getting started as opposed to letting them fly by.
One day the weather seemed to be a bit better, my never ending cold seemed to be getting better, and I found myself with ten minutes to answer a couple of emails, and I did. Then I found 15 more minutes the next day and did a bit of pilates in my living room. The next day another 20 minutes opened up and I cooked up some delicious goodies and organized my fridge while the rice was cooking.
Suddenly I had found new opportunities to open up new spaces, tiny spaces in a different way. Time and space for the things that were important. All it took was patience. Waiting for a bit. Waiting even though I felt the discomfort. Waiting until all that was new found its place and left a bit of space.
Sometimes we need to wipe out the old frame of mind, the old timetable, the rigidity of the old way of doing things, in order to give way to what’s coming ahead. This includes a bit of time spent in that awkward gray area. Like those first days at the beach before the cool summer tan kicks in, or that strange moment before the first day of school. Slowly but surely everything finds its place with just a bit of patience.
Patience has so much to do with everything we talk about here at Brownble.
We need patience with ourselves when trying something new, whether that’s a new way of eating, beginning to cook more at home, dealing with the stress and pressures of a new job and taking care of ourselves at the same time. Whether that’s trying to find healing with our relationship with food or with our relationship with our bodies.
Sometimes we need to have patience with ourselves when we get back to old habits we’ve been trying to change. Noticing that everything takes time, and every learning curve includes missteps.
We also need patience with the people around us who might not have our same rhythm, who might not understand the new choices we’re making. Patience with loved ones who don’t want to make changes we feel they should make.
We need patience when things are changing around us that are out of our control. We need patience when our health isn’t at its best, when we’re going through injury, or when our body has changed due to life’s circumstances and we need to find loving words for it again.
We need patience when learning new things. When making mistakes with new things.
It’s been amazing to notice this time around, with all the changes that came with 2019, how so many things got turned on their head and how they still found their place of equilibrium eventually. I, and we, just have to remember to have a little patience, to use up the smallest of spaces that start opening up as reminders for a bit of self care, and to remember that sometimes a little wiping of the old is good! It means something new and better is coming, and soon we’ll find our stride with it too.
As a little side note to end our post and episode on patience, our little lemon tree decided to give us its very first lemon in 10 years this week. I’m so glad I waited for that too, and gave it the time it needed to find its place, its groove, its time. It was trying to teach me this lesson all along and I never knew it.