The Heart-Skill That Opens the World…

 In Reflections

“Patience, the art of waiting, is the heart-skill that opens the world; the way opening our eyes is necessary in order to see.” —Mark Nepo

As we move more into September, I find my to-do list growing. The slower pace of summer is in the rearview mirror, the anticipation of the holiday season is on the horizon, and time seems to be speeding up.

Ahh! The perfect time to slow down and patiently wait! While most of us react to a feeling of too much to do by trying to speed up, there is wisdom to support slowing down—even stopping—to wait for clarity to come and the right next step to reveal itself.

When we rush, we often miss the guidance of our intuition or wise self. Or we don’t realize we’re jumping ahead of help that is coming our way.

“It sounds simple and obvious, but it takes time to listen;
time for deeper things to show themselves.” —Mark Nepo

Author and poet Mark Nepo makes a bold claim when he says patience is “the heart-skill that opens the world.” But think back to hurtful arguments, poor decisions, or times of exhaustion after pushing too hard. In hindsight, I bet many of these experiences could have been avoided with a powerful pause—a moment to catch your breath, listen, and pay attention.

How do you use this “heart-skill”, this “art of waiting” to help you move forward with more grace and ease? If patience isn’t a gift of yours, try setting a timer to remind you to pause and rest in silence for 5 minutes before moving on to the next task at hand. Imagine unseen helpers joyfully working on your behalf while you’re resting, listening, and refreshing your body, mind, and spirit. Just that little bit of a pause can be a game changer.

May you find the patience to listen deeply and to wait until the right next step is revealed.

See Where Things Lead

“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.”
―Mary Pierce

Rivers Know This

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
―A. A. Milne

Two Things Define You

“Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.”
―Georger Benard Shaw

The Patience to Wait

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.


Tao Te Ching, last two stanzas of Chapter 15, translated by Stephen Mitchell.

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search