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Can slow and steady really win the race?

  • Posted by: claire

What does being patient mean to you?

In a fast paced world, where calendars are filled with tasks, to-do lists tied to getting things done, it can feel unsettling and even a bit coming undone when things don’t go the way we intend. The past several days, I’ve had the chance to experience, peruse, what patience means to me, and practice letting go of the outcomes I had in mind. Today,  I am writing from the San Francisco International Gift  Show, where my intention is to share my pet loss practice and products with community.    As I drove 350+ miles north from Los Angeles, I visualized whirls of traffic to the booth, where I would be sharing, writing orders, exchanging tales of love for our pets with like-minded anima lovers.

Instead, for the past 4 days, there were lulls during the day where it was quiet enough to hear crickets chirp.

Chirp, chirp.

Hello, anyone home?

Here’s how the dialogue went in my mind.

Day 1: Oh, it’s a long weekend. My glass is half full, I told myself:) They’ll be coming!

Day 2: Where are all of the pet lovers?

Day 3: Still crickets. And all of a sudden, my glass didn’t feel so full anymore. Disappointment, frustration, negative chatter swirled up.

The part of me wanting to control the situation appeared.

{Breathe} I told myself.

At the graduate school I attended for Spiritual Psychology, there is a saying “How we deal with the issue is the issue.”

So here we are, day 4, 11:00 a.m. Just 3 more hours of the tradeshow to go. Earlier this morning, I practiced being mindful and thought about alternate ways to “explore” shifting my mood and make it a sunnier day inside my head as I drove into the city. (It is raining here as I write)

Below are a few tools I am trying on myself during the course of today. I have to say, for most part, it’s working. Remember that story about the tortoise and the hare? I realize I’ve been the hare this week—working hard, trying to make everything perfect, and then, crickets. 🙁 I posted on a community group I belong to and received great feedback from my peeps. “Perhaps what you thought you were there for is actually another reason?” “Maybe your job is actually just to shine the light” “Could it be, as much as I struggled, everything was actually happening in perfect right timing?”  So today, I am going  to be the the tortoise. Can slow and steady really win the race?

1) Be curious vs. fixing a problem.  I perceived the crickets to be a problem. For the past few days, there were moments where I blamed myself for coming.  This morning, it was time to change my story!  Instead of orders, I focused on cultivating relationships.  Relationships with potential stores, different vendors etc.  I walked the aisles and met different vendors. I had heartwarming exchanges about their rescue dogs and mine. I stopped trying to “fix” the story. Or the thinking there was a “problem” that needed fixing. I became curious with folks who did stop in, asking about their pets. Most of the stress lifted. So far, it’s been a great day.

2) Give up control. Just stop what you are doing. Easier said than done right? But when you really think about it, it can be quite simple.
When we realize what we try and grasp and hold onto so tightly is an illusion of control, it helps us make sense of things that makes no sense.  We really don’t have control.

Ha! When I realized that, I just STOPPED. Really, it was just that. The stillness in realizing: I don’t really have control who decides to walk past my booth, purchase  products etc. These folks strolling the aisles weren’t my tribe and their behavior does not correlate to my performance. Guess what? The negative chatter subsided.

And guess what else?

People who were pet lovers stopped by to look at the photos of Chloe and Shanti. They stopped in front of the booth. They weren’t rushing around either, and we ended up having amazing chats about their pets.

3) Check in with the feelings. The bits of frustration, sadness I felt during the lulls was just that. Emotions. My feathers got ruffled when I attached it to outcomes of orders and self-imposed metrics. By not making any of it about me, and just accepting it for what it is helped the feelings pass.

4) Enjoy the lulls. Appreciate the quiet moments. Finding something positive about what is happening RIGHT NOW. For me, being able to write to you from the show is awesome. Do you have lulls in your week? Do you find yourself pushing to make things happen vs. taking some much needed time off?  What are some bits of quiet you can steal away to read a book, go for a walk, enjoy a movie during the day, to be in the NPW  verusu fast forwarding to trying to make that next thing happen?

5) Practice. I am proud of the way I am holding a space for what is to come. I had fun conversations with others about their pets this morning. Most of my “shoulds” are turning into “be’s”. Just be me. Be quirky, silly, share about the love of the animals. Be okay not everyone is open to discussing pet loss. Can you relate? Is there something in your life that you are “waiting” for? Taking the focus away from what I thought I “should” be, to a bird’s eye view of just enjoying the animal loving parts of me is cultivating more patience.

What about you? I would love to hear your experience below about being patient. And what works for you.
Until then, back to the slow and steady for now, and am really looking forward to dinner with my 86 year old dad after the show is complete.

Lots of love,
Claire

Author: claire

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10 Comments

  • Beautiful insights Claire – this message of “slow down” has been coming through to me quite intuitively as well over the past few weeks. And like you, I feel 1000% better when I heed that advice and stay curious to everything that is, rather than forcing what I want it to be.

    • Claire

      Hi love! I know, I feel like I am preaching to my own choir in this post, so thank you for being here and relating:) Much love to you!

  • So smart of you to realize that there may be a different purpose for you in this experience vs the one you thought you came for. I believe there is something valuable in every situations, even the ones that don’t go the way you want. Great job on shifting your mindset!

  • I’ve also had a really tough time with being patient. Always a lot of life “restarts.” Thank you for posting!

    • Claire

      🙂 It’s a good thing there’s always tomorrow, and more opportunities for more “restarts”…you are so welcome! It’s lovely to see you here. I can’t wait to visit your blogs!

  • When I step outside of myself, so to speak, and focus on things from another’s perspective, I’m more patient. When I choose how to respond (rather than react), I’m more patient. And when I slow down, do my quiet time and separate myself from busyness and overwhelm and outcomes, I’m more patient.

    • Claire

      With everything at such a fast pace on the outside, slowing down and separating from busyness really does help us to be more patient. I love bit about stepping outside of yourself.

  • I loved reading your personal story. Thank you for sharing. It seems you were able to catch yourself from being caught up in the emotions and stories about your experience. Self-reflection and deeper awareness were the gifts from your time at the show. For me, patience is making peace with the moment and trusting that I am exactly where I need to be. Not always easy, but when I argue with reality I always lose.