'Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock' goes the kitchen clock as I sit waiting for dinner to cook. That 'tick tock' somehow sums up my mood at the moment. I feel a certain impatience, a restlessness that is rooted deeply into my core. I am impatient for lockdown to end so that people can connect again in more natural human ways and live healthily and happily. I am eager for the daylight hours to lengthen so I can go for evening walks or runs without worrying about my safety. I am longing for the weather to stay warmer so I can spend more time outdoors without having to wade through the mud and constantly wash the floors and the dog. I'm also very aware that these are all these things over which I have no control. I know what I would say to someone in my (muddy) shoes - "stay grounded in the present as much as possible, practice mindfulness where you can". And I that advice is valid, but it's not easy. The mind naturally dances to its own rhythm, racing to the future or ruminating on the past, and does not kowtow to the clock.
I also sense an impatience with my own career. It has been several years since I left the legal world to branch out to new pastures and I have made what feels like several wrong turns during this time. But recently I have been thinking about which path is 'right' and which is 'wrong', and whether those concepts are valid at all. Ultimately, attachment to these ideas of right and wrong and what others expect is like the metaphorical mud, sucking me into inaction and holding me in place. I talked in a group today about feeling stuck because I was almost scared to take a step in any direction, but at the same time I want to jump in all directions! I also feel overwhelmed by what I might build with my career, perhaps scared of my own power and this fear is also holding me in that mud.
When our ego attaches to outcomes, we suffer. We are often so impatient to move to the 'next thing' or too scared to even try something that we end up causing ourselves mental anguish and pain. I am learning that patience and stillness are so valuable in these chaotic times. Also, being still in the mud is not the same as being stuck in the mud. Standing still is often seen as a bad thing in the Western world but I am a strong believer that when we are still we can see more and then understand better where to step next and have the courage to take that step.
I was reminded of being patient today through a group I have been attending. I am spiritual and so God comes into this for me and it's nice to know I have that guidance even if it is often only clear in hindsight. But even if you do not have a faith, just be still for a moment and see how much you notice through your senses. What do you smell, see, hear, taste, or sense through touch? Read a beautiful poem or listen to something inspirational for a few moments and see what you notice. Try to stop rushing through life even if just for a few moments, pausing every now and again to see what your inner knowing or God might be saying to you. As the wise folk say 'stop and smell the flowers'. Finally, remember that the ticking clock is a man made invention to bring in a sense of control. The only time is now - for more information on this concept read The Power of Now. Happy stillness.