Passion and Patience (October 2017 Theme)
Lately, I’ve been recognizing my tendency to thrive in a state of passion, and get a little depressed when I’m confronted with the time for patience. Driven for my creative endeavors and deeply searching for love, I launch into projects with complete focus and high drive intensity, and then become depleted and sad when they are finished, subside, or seems stalled in some way. I’ve realized I need to develop a taste for the interludes where I might have less control or direct effect, but instead I can wait for the earth to respond to seeds I’ve planted. Sitting in the waiting room of your dreams, may seem passive. But if patience is a counter to falling into a state of disappointed drudgery, then it becomes the stealth secret force beneath the ocean tide that’s always moving all of us in the right direction.
There’s a strong tendency to value one state over another. The state of passion seems to be the one responsible for all the manifested outcomes, but if it’s not balanced with steaditude, it runs the risk of burning the one who possesses it out.
It’s funny, how I can learn a lesson so profoundly in my yoga practice, then only years later, realize it’s something I’ve been needing to translate into my life off the mat. For over a decade I’ve been teaching headstand as the “Patience Pose.” I tell the story about how it took me three years to get up into headstand, and I never jumped or struggled. I heeded my teacher’s advice to pause and wait. Wait for my hamstrings to open up so that my back could straighten enough to get my hips over my head first. Then wait for my toes to get light from the floor and slowly peel off, using my core for strength. The aim is to float up with a steady burn of internal combustion, rather than forcing a leap of faith, jamming up onto those tiny neck vertebrae, and hoping they’ll catch you.
All of this verbiage is so poignant to my life right now, as I’m taking on bigger and challenges, and life changes. This month, I’ll be making sure headstand is part of my daily practice. Cultivating the patience with my feet on the ground, in the space between moments of great gusto. Slow patience, tempered passion, love for each moment, not missing a single moment, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable. This is the exquisite joy of enjoying the process of life, rather than just barreling through and expecting to wake up in the elated joy of success.
Passion reaches it’s true height, when we slow down long enough to be present to it’s pleasure and it’s pain. The magnificence of passion unfolds between deep desire and an awareness of our own resistance. The holding back is what makes the moving forward that much sweeter. Passion is the very source of life! But that fire will destroy you if you can’t taper it into a laser like force that holds space for all the possible outcomes. It’s building a fire by taking your time to roll the newspaper, layer it with twigs, and then the final log, so there’s enough room to breathe within the space of the structure. Light it, gently fan it, and let the embers turn gold.
Breath patience into your passion