Patience: It’s Not Just A Virtue Anymore

Patience is a virtue

That’s what I was told as a child.  I admit, I had absolutely no idea what that meant.  I can remember hearing others being told the exact same words, so felt it must be true.  Patience must have been important to other families too.  Not just something my own mother pretended was true!

I’m not going to go into too much detail about that but suffice to say that she served our breakfast cereal with apple juice one morning.  Rather than admit that she had forgotten to get milk the night before on our way home from ballet class, she said…and I quote: “It’s very Continental, you know.  It adds a ‘Je ne sais quoi'”.  (I can certainly tell you ‘quoi’ was added and it rhymes with Cat Kiss).  At the time, though, my brother and I knew she was feeding us a bowl of horse pucks but we just laughed and choked down the cereal.

But I digress…

We speak of patience in others as a badge

Patience is often lauded as a character trait that people have or do not have.  That so-and-so has the Patience of Job.  That this other person ‘Doesn’t have the patience for it’ meaning that they aren’t cut out for a particular job or vocation.  In this article by The Guardian, we seem to be running low on patience these days so it is now a form of power.  Patience seems to be something that we magically either have or we don’t have.

Or so I thought…

As I’ve mentioned before, I am dealing with a horrendous and intense pressure head pain from being upright as a result of a CSF Leak that I have had for the past 17 months.  Headache is a much too general and insufficient word to describe it as it is really a daily concussive state that keeps repeating any time I am upright.  (In summary: not fun!)

As a result of my condition, I am learning a kind of patience that I never ever thought possible.

Was I born patient?

To start off, I have been a relatively patient person most of my life.  I think my patience with little ones is what lead me to a career in Education.  I can remember, even as a little girl, being able to play and entertain much younger guests who came to visit at our house and my mother would marvel that I wouldn’t tire of being the minder.

Waiting for months and months for medical testing and diagnoses and other aspects of my care is a whole different ball game.  I have had to dig very deep in my inner resources to be patient and open-minded about the overall slow pace of the medical process where I live.  You can read about how I handle medical challenges here and here.

Learning a new depth of patience

The other day, I was in my garden, and I waited and waited and waited to get the photo of this insect on the daisy.  As I waited, I watched and marveled at all the activity going on.  A bee would flit in and about to get his chance and the blue bug, I have no idea what he is, would take a fly by to see if he could get a feed.  Then another fly would angle in and alight onto the flower and off he would go.  This dance of ins and outs of these little guys had me intrigued for quite a few minutes. The blue guy just hovered around waiting patiently for his turn.

Once in place, he took his time.  He drank the nectar with, what I can now see thanks to my camera zoom, his proboscis. The little flyer just sipped and sipped and delighted in the juices he was imbibing.  He would flit back up and take a new position, and then back to siphoning off nectar again. Patience.  It can only be described as such.

Can we learn patience?  I really believe we can.

Does it come with practice?  Yes, I believe it does.

Can we get more patient? Indeed, when the Universe chooses to present to us our opportunity, we can do nothing else but learn to be patient.

Nature has it all figured out from the get-go!

Taking photographs in nature is a wonderful, fun way to work on my patience.  When holding a camera so close to a subject in order to get a super close-up, I have to practice my breathing techniques.  This not only helps when taking the actual shot but it helps to remind me to slow down and wait for my opportunity.  A missed shot means more patience practice and a need for deeper relaxation. I’m not going to lie, I was delighted that I waited it out and got the shot of this bug.  I only wish you could have seen it, too.  He truly was magnificent!

Patience is my SOMETHING WONDERFUL for today.

Love Ingrid x

Gratitude…Day 7

Time to change focus again today…could you give yourself 10 minutes of your time?

This morning started for me with a walk in the garden, flower meditation (and photos today), and then a silent sit outside on the deck of our darling garden shed just basking in the light of the morning sun.

It has been a while since the sun has been out in these parts!

So grateful to give myself this precious time to be…

Love Ingrid x

#junegratitude     #loveiseverywhere    #meditation

Time Out from Devices

Being at home all the time means that I am using devices more than I would if my life were in its regular routine.  Not having work hours means I have to monitor myself to be sure I don’t spent too much time aimlessly browsing away at mindless pursuits.

As Spring has finally sprung here where I live, this means that putting my phone or tablet away is getting easier and easier.  And that mindless scrolling and clicking can take a back seat to tuning into the rhythms of nature instead of my next Spotify tune.

In an effort to build my stamina and to get back into my walking routine, my husband and I have been driving out to a local park area along a riverbank near where we live.  We load up the dogs and head out after a cup or two of coffee in the morning and we hike around the area.  We started off with just a 10 minute walk or so and have graduated to a good paced 30-40 minute walk with our puppies.

I used to keep my phone in my pocket just in case I could capture a great shot of my outdoor sanctuary but have decided to leave the phone behind to really capture the magic of being free of my devices.  I leave my phone in the car or even better, I leave it at home.  If we are going somewhere after our walk, I may carry my phone, but in those instances, I leave my glasses in the car so I can’t read anything even if I wanted to.

I have spent an entire week going out in nature with no devices.  The whole trip takes between about 90-120 minutes and it completely resets my clock.  Often when we arrive home we get onto other chores and tasks and it will easily be half a day spent before I head to my computer or my tablet to see what is happening.  This reprieve is having a wonderful impact on my current state of mind.

Getting outside.  Leaving my technological devices at home. Being out and present with my (fur) family.  Taking in the beauty of nature with no means of recording it, means I get to pay special attention to moments as they arise.  In an instant, the moment is gone so I had better be there to watch it happen.

So much changes in nature from day to day in Spring. A tree may be completely bare one day only to have the beginnings of buds the very next morning.  We are all in a rush for warm weather to come, so I had better make sure I’m paying full attention!

Being out without my device is my SOMETHING WONDERFUL for today.

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere   #csfleak   #unplugged   #nodevice

Two monks…

What does this have to do with two monks?

I recently found myself, at 3 AM, awake and debating a conversation that I had had earlier in the week.  It was one of those very difficult kinds of conversations, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to find that I had gone back to it in my mind.  After a few thoughts came wafting forth, reminding me, of course, of missed opportunities to add a piece of information here or there, I soon found myself comfortably drifting off to my plans for the next day…and before I knew it I was fast asleep.

How I got to where I am now

There was a day that this scenario would have played out very differently.  I would most likely have gotten myself quite worked up about having this zinger or that ‘touché’ interjection to slay my opponent.  I am so grateful to two monks who drastically changed that for me.

How can two monks change anything?

You see, a number of years ago, I read a great Buddhist parable that perfectly describes that 3 in the morning debate that I used to engage in.  It also perfectly describes the coming back to an earlier discussion with loved ones that just needs two monks to solve.


The story goes like this:

There were once two monks in training who were told by their teacher to walk to the mountain top and to contemplate what they saw.  One slightly older monk and his younger friend set off on the 8 hour journey, as they were apprentice monks and had taken a vow of silence, they walked without a word between them.  Monks in training are not allowed to speak, and in addition, are never allowed to touch a woman.  If they are found to have done so they must engage in a 40 day cleansing ritual and interrupt their tutelage.

The two monks had been walking for many hours in silence, enjoying the scenery on their journey, when they encountered a young woman in her petticoats.  The woman was crying as she had fallen from her horse and there was a huge puddle of water in her way.  She could not manage to walk across as she had the heavy dress and risked getting soaked.  When the two monks approached she cried and asked for help.

The older monk looked quickly to his friend and without a thought swept the young woman up in his arms and waded deep across the water to the other side of the huge puddle and gently put the woman back down on the other side. The woman thanked the monk profusely and the two walked off in silence.

Later that day, as they finally made it to the mountaintop as the day drew long, the young monk sat in meditation beside his older friend.  He was heard to be sighing and restless and then turned to the older apprentice and said: ‘I cannot believe you picked up that woman!’

The older monk turned to him slowly and replied: ‘I put that woman down hours ago…why haven’t you put her down?’

Now things look different

It is this lesson that I now carry with me, to remind myself to ‘put the lady down’ that allows me to slip back into sleep.

I hope this is SOMETHING WONDERFUL for you to help slip back into sleep someday too.

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere   #somethingwonderful   #csfleak




Insight Timer

First and foremost, I want to thank you all for bearing with me as I convalesce from my procedure….I have not been able to blog as I had grown accustomed to, as looking at screens has become rather challenging of late, so if you’re reading this, I appreciate your coming back to me!

I want to share a great new app that a very dear friend of mine recommended (yup…she knows who she is).  As is always the case, I do not endorse or get any benefit from recommending apps, I just love sharing them when I think they can be of help to others.

Today’s app is called ‘Insight Timer’.  It’s a meditation app with a twist.

The way it works is that you log in, for free, and make a profile of sorts.  You can add as much or as little detail as you like.  The more information you give to the app the better it connects you to the community though.  They state at the outset that they do not ‘collect’ the data or share or sell data in your profile… I believe them.

The great thing about this meditation app though is the inter-connectedness.  You can add your friends and meditate together (which is super great for those of us who are unable to go anywhere to participate in group classes).  Once you have completed your chosen meditation for the time you choose, you are given statistics on how many other people on the app were meditating with you.

You get to set the parameters.  You can meditate as long or as short a time as you choose.  You can choose from a huge bank of meditations either guided or unguided.  You can opt for specific aspects of meditation foci: healing, compassion, stress relief, etc.  There is a large bank to choose from.  There are 4,645 free meditations available at this very moment.

insight 3

When you are done, you can send others encouraging messages as they can also encourage you as well.  You can recommend a great choice that you tried to your friends (mine are my real life friends…but you can build a virtual community if you like).  It tells me that there are 2,297 people meditating right this instant…it’s kind of cool.

My favourite thing to do though is to go to the ‘Timer’ section: you can choose what sound to start and finish your meditation time, the ambient sound you would like to choose, or no sound is also an option (my fav is Zen Guitar…it is absolutely captivating in a good way….it helps me to abandon any attachment to my thoughts and really delve into quieting my mind).

Insight 2

There are a number of options throughout the app to upgrade if you like. These options inevitably cost money but honestly, I am really impressed with the depth of options available for free and recommend this app as my SOMETHING WONDERFUL  for today.

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere   #csfleak      #meditationheals    #meditationapp