Puzzles, Practices create Patience!
I discovered something about myself recently that was so interesting. I have always made comments about myself about how impatient I am. How I can’t finish things, and how I dont like to do tedious tasks. I have said this since I was little, and now am beginning to wonder if this was a program that I had decided to run because when I was a child that focus and paying attention to the details was a skill that I had never been properly taught.
When I was married my mother would take out a laundry basket of socks to her house every two weeks and put them together because it would create so much anxiety for me to sit and put those together. So much so that I would buy more and more socks because I detested doing this, matching socks. The other task that created a ton of irritability and anxiety was untangling strings of lights at christmas. So every year I would donate lights to Goodwill and go buy new. Ridiculous I know but I just felt that it was something that I was not good at, or was unable to do. And so life happened and then I discovered Yoga…..and I began to change, or maybe not change as much as grow, unfold, and become.
The beginning of this may have been about 15 years ago when I discovered the life changing Book by Eckhart Tolle called The Power of Now. This book was the beginning of a journey for me and a path that I have not left since. I began to watch my irritations and thoughts. Shine the light on them so to speak. Light always rids darkness. Awareness is so powerful. The Power of Now lead to me to practices of Yoga and “thought watching.” I also began to meditate during certain chores like washing dishes. Noticing, feeling, being.
When the pandemic happened, I had bought 1000 piece puzzle, a beautiful and intricately detailed Mandala that I had imagined that I would put in the corner of a Wellness Center Space that I have been manifesting in my mind for some time. This puzzle was in the corner of my bedroom closet. One night a week before the pandemic happened I took this puzzle out for some reason and emptied it on the wooden table in my Yoga Space. I looked at it, felt a little anxiousness occur and put it all back into the closet, thinking how overwhelmed I was by this puzzle.
The night before the quarantine I made a beautiful dinner for some friends and the same exact incident occurred. I pulled this puzzle out and placed it one the table, picked up a couple pieces and began to feel that same exact feeling of dread and anxiety and I put it away once again.
One week into the quarantine I pulled the puzzle out on a cold rainy Spring morning and this time I had removed every single thing from the table and set an intention for this puzzle. I began to separate the pieces by colors and soft outward edges. I worked for about 30 minutes and let it go. I went back over and over and over in the next few days and began to see progress. By the four day I was obsessed. Utterly obsessed. I spent every spare moment doing this puzzle and I had alot of time for the first time in many many years. Even on Saturday night with my boyfriend, during a movie, i was working diligently on this puzzle. I can not describe what this task did for my tenacity. It grew. I began to enjoy the soft sweet time. It became meditative. I also worked up to a 40 minute morning meditation during this time. I do not know which came first. It is like the chicken and the egg questions. What an enlightening time about myself that I had began to grow in a way that I had never thought I truly owned this part of myself. To discover this was a little thrilling. Finishing the puzzle was bittersweet. I knew that a part of me had been uncovered and cold never be covered up again. I had changed, I had grown. A part of me had become.
Now the really interesting part of this story began to happen. I began to work away on a webpage that has been a real thorn in my side for the last year or two. A website that was totally disfunctional and I could not work my way around. I even began to play and work on this. I began to make plans for this wellness center. I began to build a virtual studio. Things were happening that gave me anxiety in the past. True growth. Patience, really. I had developed patience. I did realize that I needed to invest the money on professionals to build the website but the cool thing about this was I had no fear paying the money, by this time I was ready to make that step. And I had written out and visualized the pages of my website so my imagination had really went to work on this part of growing my business. And the fun part is, I can even blog now which is something I do every day. So I can share recipes and stories and experiences with like minded people.
I truly believe that little tasks that take us more into being, really grow parts of ourselves in beautiful ways, and at the same time these tasks heal parts of ourselves that need healed. Parts that block us from becoming, and unfolding. Patience was always something that I claimed I never had, and admired in other people. Now I can admire it a little in myself as well.
In Buddhism, the Mandala represents impermanence. The only true constant is change. When I have went to the Light Expo and sat and watched the Tibetan Monks work with their colored grains of sand put together a Mandala, all in a fully meditative state, there is something so peaceful there. I believe for now I will let my mandala puzzle sit on my table so that I may appreciate its beauty but I know that there will come a time that I will pass this puzzle off to the right person. A person that walks into my life and needs to deprogram that little part of themselves that tells them that they can't do something.......