Hi friends, welcome to April! Based on my Instagram feed, I think many of us are feeling that green thumb pulse with life as the weather gets warmer. I for one, have been spending quite a bit of time, energy, and money on my garden, planting small versions of what I hope one day will become a majestic Wisteria vine wrapped around our back deck pergola, a wall covered completely in Bouganvillia blooms, and the most aromatic Lavender, Oregano, and Chammomile display you’ve ever seen. I know that it will take months, even years, for the tiny plants I’ve so lovingly made a home for to grow into the wonderland of blooms I imagined when I purchased them, but I have caught myself getting a little impatient about just how slow the process is.
This isn’t all that surprising – our culture thrives on results and expect instant gratification from our efforts. But no matter how fast the pace of our lives becomes, there are some things that simply cannot be rushed. We can’t push a tree to grow faster any more than we can master headstand with one yoga class, or deepen the relationship with our lover over one glass of wine. Anything worth nurturing, whether it be a child, a relationship, a business, or a lifestyle, requires the gift of time and the grace of patience.
What is patience? Yes, it’s not giving the finger to the driver who cut you off in rush hour traffic or cursing the person in front of you who decided to pay for groceries with a hand-written check. But patience is also defined as the ability to give attention to something for a long time without becoming bored or losing interest.
We have so many choices when it comes to our careers, our cars, homes, and even whom we share our lives with that we tend to trade in what’s not working right away without giving it a chance to truly blossom. No-one expects a seed to grow into a beautiful, blossoming plant without consistent nurturing and care, yet we get really frustrated when we have to put energy and attention into our marriages, friendships, and own personal development. Similarly, no-one expects a baby to grow into an adult human in a few weeks or months, yet we throw in the towel when our brilliant business idea doesn’t take off right away or we can’t paint like Picasso after our first lesson.
Lucas is turning one this month…ONE! And as fast as time seems to be going for me, I can see how impatient he gets when he wants to do more than what his cute little body and limited motor skills will allow him to. I think we all struggle with this same feeling as we grow, always wanting to be farther ahead in our careers or personal lives than we actually are.
From the time I decided I wanted to open a yoga studio until the first student took class at Yogaleena, over 7 years went by. And as much as I wanted to quit my corporate job and start “living the dream” back in 2009, I can see now that I really wasn’t financially or emotionally ready at that time. During those 7 years, I was able to save a lot, finish my MBA, take on a sales role that taught me about time management and customer care, and work part-time at the front desk of my home yoga studio in DC. I also met Dave, got married, and moved to Houston, completed my 200-hour teacher training, and became a part of the Houston yoga community. I certainly don’t think Yogaleena would be the success it is today, nor would I be as fulfilled as I am as a result, had I rushed my decision to open my business.
The same can be said for so many things in my life, most of which I prayed would happen sooner than they did and then thanked all that is holy and wise that they didn’t! I bet Dave and I would not have ended up together had we started dating when we first met (which was almost 9 years before we got married) and I can guarantee that having had a baby when I first thought it’d be a good idea would NOT in fact, have been such a good idea. Quitting my job at 26 instead of 32 would have made my entrepreneurship journey so much harder and stressful than it was, and I know that when I finally get on that TED stage and give my award-winning talk (a gal can dream big, right?), I’ll be glad that it took as long as it did to get there.
It’s so hard to trust that we are exactly where we need to be at this very moment in our journey through life, but I’m here to tell you that you are. As long as we’re nurturing our talents, relationships, and dreams, and staying engaged and committed to our present realities, we’re on the right path to becoming exactly who we were meant to be.