October 17th (18th, insomnia writing), Sailing towards Cabo San Lucas
Let’s say I want to order some food; bam! Done and delivered in under 30 minutes. If I want to see my friend who lives on the other side of the world; boom! Doable within seconds by video calling through my phone. Maybe I want to find a date; I can just swipe left or right. Quick sex? Even that isn’t a problem in today’s world. I want to learn a skill? There are hundreds of online programs without even having to wait for a new session to start. Everything has become accessible. Everything is fast. The extraordinary has become ordinary. Life is now so easy that it has actually become more difficult emotionally.
We don’t know patience. As a friend mentioned to me earlier this week, we are raising children in a world where everything is immediate, stealing away their chance to learn the art of waiting. Despite all of this technology, there is one thing in particular that I have found could not be greatly accelerated; our personal growth.
As spiritual beings, we are constantly growing and transforming into the people we are supposed to become. There isn’t a book or a website in the world that will ever give you life experience. You’ve got to go through the process on your own. Programs, books, coaches might give you knowledge, but what is knowledge without wisdom? You’ve got to do the work, possibly fall flat on your face and start again, maybe even hundreds of times. I know I have…
If like I, you are at a crossroad in your life and struggling to figure out your next step, I encourage you to do this:
I’m not talking about passively waiting for life to pass you by while you sit on the couch eating potato chips (I’m not judging, believe me, I’ve been there)… The kind of waiting that I’m referring to is the active one. The one where you understand and acknowledge that maybe things aren’t happening for you right now because it simply isn’t the right time. Maybe things aren’t happening because you are not done preparing for them and you must work harder. Maybe you’ve not planted enough seeds to reap the rewards or maybe what you think you want isn’t what the universe wants for you. Maybe you don’t really know what you want after all. Whatever the reason is, if things aren’t happening, don’t panic. Breathe in. Breathe out. And wait… Wait with the conviction that everything happens in due time and that if you have faith, things will eventually work out the way they are supposed to. In the meantime, go on with your tasks and do everything with love and gratitude, even if you're not exactly where you want to be.
Working on ships for the past few years has taught me to accept that patience is necessary in order to live a happy life. Every time I’ve been on a ship, I’ve been impatient to finish the long contract and go home meanwhile every time I’ve been home, I’ve been looking forward to getting back on a ship and feel busy (needed, useful). I’ve wasted so much time being miserable because things weren’t going my way but how could I have known any better when I’ve always been surrounded by a world of NOW? Instant gratification is not our friend. Patience is.
To help me deal with everything that has happened to me in the past years (none of which I had planned or hoped for), I started meditating and journaling, like, a lot! In moments of anxiety about the future, connecting with my soul calms me down wonderfully. By meditating in a natural context such as by the sea, in the woods or simply outside in the grass or the sand, I remember who I truly am and why I’m here.
I’m not here to change the world. I’m here to change myself.
I'm simply here to exist and that should be enough. Does the tree pursue any goals and worry about the future or is he simply happy to be a tree? Does the river feel small compared to the ocean or does the river know that he is as important and as beautiful? Nature simply is. We are the only beings who question ourselves, who feel unworthy, who create new desires every minute and who don’t let life run its course. What if we simply stopped for a moment and embraced the beauty of simply existing? We are as beautiful and worthy and important as the tree and the river. We are here, we are enough.
So I’ve decided to be patient. I’ve decided to accept where I am and that as the tree, I am always growing. Who will I be tomorrow? Someone different than I am today for sure. This process will happen and I’ve got to be patient with myself and accept that I can’t have it all in an instant, compared to the popular belief that every other aspect of our modern lives throw at us. Healing takes time. Progress takes time. Transformation takes time. Take your time friend.
Eventually, even the smallest snowflake can become part of a beautiful glacier that will have the power to transform an entire mountain. Patience.