By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
What do you know about patience? Patience is the virtue that allows you to listen to your higher soul, attend to your inner voice, and bring integrity to your thinking and actions. Have you learned how to listen to your inner voice? Do you see how patience is required to do so accurately and effectively?
Patience in action allows things to slow down. When you engage in an activity with patience you direct your mind to be in the moment and to address what is right before you. You have felt the world slow down, and when it does you resonate with that sensation. This is the experience of being in the now. Unfortunately, most people only know this experience (described as “time just stood still”), as the result of a very frightening crisis like a near traffic accident. The good news is that you can access this state of consciousness without a crisis, and therefore without anxiety.
In our society, most people recognize that they function from a “monkey mind” – jumping from one thought to another – and proud of every opportunity to multi-task (whether it’s effective or not). But when you slow your mind to focus on one thought or activity at a time you will note that your inner being becomes calmer and slower, which allows you to slow your outward movements as well. The irony is that the more you slow your mind, the more efficient your actions will be.
The good news is that it is not hard to slow your mind and to hear your inner voice, but it does require practice because you are developing a new pattern.
First, develop patience. Begin a practice of daily focus in the now. This can be meditation, prayer, movement, time in nature; it can even include chores – if you focus ON the chore and not on the monkey-mind that is excited to have been unleashed.
Become increasingly aware of times that you squelch your message and replace it with what you believe you should say or do. My favorite analogy for this comes from the movie The Runaway Bride. Julia Roberts’ character had to finally determine how she likes her eggs (she formerly ate her eggs the same way that each boyfriend did).
Another example was portrayed more recently in the new FOX TV show Pitch. The lead character finally became empowered when she was reminded to listen to her own voice when determining who she wants to be and what she wants to do.
Are you still not sure about hearing your own voice and discerning its truth? Check your inner compass as you listen to the messages of others that are being pushed upon you, or that you think might be your own.
- What do you think about it?
- What do you believe about it?
- How does it make you feel? Does it help you feel nurtured and safe?
- How might others be affected? (This is not the only criterion, but in light of certain recent socio-political statements, I think it bears mentioning.)
- Were you provided information (so that you may make your own determination)? Or instructions (for what to think and what to do)?
Another interesting consideration when you are striving to follow your own voice is to determine if you are avoiding shame. Shame in this context has been viewed as an evolutionary tool that encourages you to hide so as not to be kicked out of your community. In earlier times, to be kicked out would place you in danger of not surviving. This is not necessarily true today.
Patience is a virtue that affects everyone. Your patience may even be strong when you relate to others, but different when patience is needed for yourself. The more you hear yourself, trust yourself, and follow your true self, the less angst you will experience about waiting for what is to come.
If you have not yet begun the process to establish your own voice, think about what can be gained. You will feel more authentic, increase confidence, and may even achieve a change that you sense is coming. And since you are simultaneously working on patience, when you feel that urge to make the change, you won’t feel like you need it NOW.
Judy Lipson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and educational strategist in West Bloomfield, MI. She helps clients of all ages who have learning difficulties, work or school related anxiety, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders, and those who wish to Remember and Become ‘Who You Really Are’. Contact Judy at 248.568.8665 and firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.SpiralWisdom.net for more information.
This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to replace medical care.