“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Patience is a character strength that helps us to slow down and practice mindfulness. It helps us work at our own natural pace. It allows us to respond to life’s challenges rather than react to them. Patience brings more love, calm, peace and acceptance into our life and the lives of others. Patience is not just about waiting.
Pace yourself with patience
“I don’t have enough time.” “I didn’t get everything done today.” “Come on, Hurry up. We are late.”
How often do we say and feel these things? Patience takes on a whole new meaning when we realise it is not just a reaction to a single event – such as trying to get children in the car to be somewhere on time. Patience is also the pace we travel at through the whole day and it can affect our enjoyment of everything we do.
Slowing ourselves down and guiding our children to slow down helps us to live in the moment. It allows us to embrace the ordinary and to appreciate the “everyday” chores as special moments together. For example: meal times, baths, driving to kindy/school, celebrations, talking to Grandma on the phone. These are all moments to cherish. And if you do need to move things along, which inevitably will happen, work towards doing it in a calm and patient manner.
You can replace ‘We’re late!” with “Let’s work together to get there on time”. Simply using words to focus on what you want rather than on what you don’t want can help create a patient feeling and experience.
- “I have enough time.”
- “I will do those things when I am ready.”
- “Live in the moment.”
- “Go with the flow.”
Nurturing yourself with patience
We won’t always have the answers with our parenting and we won’t always get it right. However, unnecessary feelings of guilt can be put in their place with patience. Nurturing yourself with patience helps as you try to be the best parent that you can be, by being more gentle and patient with yourself.
To give the best of who you are can begin with caring for yourself.
Most of your day is spent looking after other people. Taking some time to look after yourself will allow you to have more energy to better care for others. It will give you more patience to deal with the frustrations and annoyances that inevitably arise.
Spend time doing what makes you happy, inspired, rested and rejuvenated. This will be different for all of us:
- Take a nap
- Take 2 (two minutes of stillness or connecting with your breath)
- Take a yoga class
- Go for a walk
- Spend time in nature
- Watch your favourite TV show
- Take a bath
- Read a book
Nurturing patience for yourself is equally as important as nurturing patience in your child.
May patience lead you to that gentle place within.
Until next time, happy whole-hearted parenting.