In all of the words one could use to describe me, patient is not one of them. Not even top 50. Maybe not even top 100 - actually though. I'm not sure what's longer - microwave minutes or treadmill minutes. Either way, they're dreadful. I find myself more twitchy and fidgety than ever when I'm in that space between messaging someone and receiving a reply - at least when it's something important or I'm being vulnerable. My skin crawls when I feel lonely - which, being on a solo backpacking adventure, I find myself feeling quite often - and I try to grasp onto anything that will pull me out of that dark corner. You get the idea. Is anyone else as impatient as I am, or is it just me? Oy.
While I was at Wanderlust a few weeks ago, I went to a speakeasy on blogging with Kara-Leah Grant, a well-known blogger, author, and yoga teacher down here in Kiwi Country. We got on the subject of love and fear, which I found fascinating, the idea that we only have these two fundamental emotions that dictate everything we do. During that discussion, something that Kara-Leah said will stick with me forever: "Love whatever rises."
Now to be fair, the context this piece of advice arose in had to do with writing, blogging and sharing, but I think it's a great general piece of life advice. Don't you?
In the last month I've been traveling (how has it already been a month?!) I've had a lot of time with me, myself, and you guessed it, I. I've started to notice things about myself that flew under the radar all these years: bad habits, preferences, tendencies, etc. The biggest one I've caught on to is my aforementioned impatience. I cannot stand to be uncomfortable - whether that's sad, lonely, bored, uncertain or any of the like. The moment I feel anything less than happy I go into full-fledged panic mode and I scramble to get the heck out of dodge and back onto greener grass.
The other day when I was feeling homesick, I was so distraught that I almost booked a one-way ticket home. I was SO close. Luckily, my people were able to talk me down from the ledge. I'm much better now, in case you were wondering. There have been so many moments like this, where I'm so uncomfortable with well, being uncomfortable, that I worry myself sick and make impulse decisions that aren't in line with my values or what I want and need. In doing so, I close myself off to learning and receiving and I go into survival mode. And when that happens, I'm not present. I'm either dwelling in the past or dreaming of the future, and I miss out on what's unfolding before me in real time.
And that is a really, really sad thing because in the uncertainty and discomfort, that's where I've found the magic happens. It's the space where we uncover, discover, and grow - that is if we have the patience to buckle up and ride it out. You can't go around it and there's no point in going back, so the only way forward is through. Looking back on those game-changing moments in my life, they rarely came during a spell of pure happiness (not to be confused with joy - I find that very different), excitement, or bliss. The big leaps forward, the invaluable life lessons, the most extraordinary moments have always come as a result of me being brave enough to lean into, and love, whatever rises - even if it hurts or makes my knees shake and especially if it's uncomfortable.
As Brene Brown rights in Daring Greatly (the latest book I've tackled), "Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light." Beautiful. And so very true. Preach, Brene. Preach.
Next time I find myself impatiently wading through discomfort, uncertainty, or vulnerability I'll remember to lean in and love whatever rises - which like most things in life, is a lot easier said than done. But that's why it's called practice, amiright?
For all those people out there that are pickin' up what I'm putting down, what are your thoughts? How do you practice loving whatever rises? What do you have to say about all this? I want to know!