We live in such a fast-paced world where time is money and essentially money is life. We are all scraping for more time, rushing through the present moment towards the next one. Impatience for the next moment or the next meaningful experience can make us loose touch with what is happening right now, which is in fact the only moment that we get to truly inhabit in our lives. Mindfulness reminds us to intentionally cultivate patience and recognise that things unfold in their own time, in their own way, that everything cannot be and more importantly should not be rushed. The by-product of rushing is that we are never actually where we are, in our heads we are always planning ahead, reaching for the next moment as if the present moment is little more than a means to get to a more desirable and more meaningful future. Whereas all we ever have is the present moment. We have never lived nor will we ever live in a moment that is not the present moment. The past exists as a memory and the future as an imagination only in the present moment. In that sense all of eternity is contained in the present moment, it is not just a fleeting means to an end. Once we see that, we realise that what can be more valuable and deserving of our attention than the present moment?
Patience can be comforting and profound. While rushing, our vision of what is happening around us can be blurred and only by slowing down we can see more clearly where we are and where we are headed. Like the changing of the seasons or the blossoming of a flower, it will blossom in its own good time. Rushing can hurt the process and the quality of our experience as it unfolds. We live our lives as if we are running out of time, only to run out of time in the end. The paradox is that in order to have more time we often need to slow down and savour the present moment. This is where the cultivation of patience is helpful. Nature doesn’t seem to rush yet manages to get everything done. The practise of mindfulness can help us find that stillness within us even when the world rushes by. We cultivate patience not because it is hard but because it is immensely helpful for the quality of our lives.
"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet"