Friday, April 25, 2014

Big Apple to Big Easy - Week 2: Patience is a Virtue

When I was home over Christmas break my mom had a pile of jewelry that had become so gnarly and tangled, it was impossible to tell how many necklaces and pairs of earrings were actually caught up in the jumble. I sat there for over an hour but finally managed to get each item back its autonomy. It was slow, meticulous, eyeball-cramping work but I was so immersed in it, that I never became frustrated or threw my hands up when an attempt to detangle only further immeshed things. It took patience.
Hand-painted sign outside my studio (aka our house)

Patience. My mom was shocked. "It must be all that yoga you're doing. The Amanda I know would not sit still long enough to deal with a task that tedious." And it's true. I remember hearing her repeat that old saying, "Patience is a virtue, obtain it if you can. It seldom comes to women and it never comes to man," often when I was still under her roof. And to be honest, I didn't care. Patience seemed like a big old waste of time. Something people needed before the internet and blackberries were invented. What need did I have to be patient? I was a do-er. A getter of things done. I took it a step beyond mere efficiency and was typically planning, emailing, rushing and cramming while simultaneously multi-tasking and over-achieving. Keeping to-do lists only slowed me down. I just did things. No. Time. To. Make. List.

More often than not, this way of being worked to my advantage. Certainly in college (too many books, too little time), at work (too many clients, too little time) and in New York City in general (too much everything! too little time and money!), being a maniacal task-completer got me a fair amount of praise. People in those settings love it when you do stuff fast. Then THEY don't have to be patient. You ask me to do something? Boom. It's done. Who doesn't like that? But on the other hand, when you view life as a race, you never stop running. You never even slow down. It's like being in an uninterrupted state of alertness. Constantly on guard. Racket up - ready to hit the ball no matter where it is served. It's an effective way of dealing with tasks, but a destructive way of living your life. 
The altar in my yoga room... a lil Jesus, Buddha,
Ganesha & Kali in the mix. 

Fast forward twelve months, and my goals, my environment, and my internal state have shifted so greatly that I can't even imagine juggling the amount of to-dos, to-remembers, and to-be-on-the-lookout-fors that I was at this time last year, and the year before...and the year before...and all the way back to age 7 when I got my first job at a local dinner theater. Intentionally slowing down, dialing back, and reassessing my goals has planted the seeds of patience inside of me and they are slowly starting to take root. NOLA ain't about rushing. Yoga definitely ain't about rushing. Starting your own self-funded online business? Good luck trying to rush that. Maybe what I'm learning is that life isn't all about rushing? 

That's not to say I'm fully recovered. Decorating our new home caused the hurry-hustler inside of me to rear her ugly head. I nearly had a meltdown when I found out that couches take 6-8 weeks to be delivered (like are you serious???) and again when my mom urged me to read yet another consumer review of the washer/dryer set I was about to drop $2k on ("I've never had ANY washer/dryer in my home EVER. I'm sure this one will be fine!!"). 
3 panel painting my girl Gigi brought me
back from Thailand

Getting myself set up professionally is another great test of my fledgling patience. I've been here 13 days do I NOT have a job teaching at a yoga studio? Why haven't I booked any private clients in my home? And in God's name why isn't our home office even fully setup yet? Two weeks is more than enough time to move, set up a home, figure out where things are, get multiple jobs and be completely acclimated to a new city, right??? 
The Lapiz Lazuli Ganesha I bought in Udaipur
with a couple of Buddhas

There is one part of me that wants to troll Craigslist and take a job - any job- just to feel like I am GOING and DOING and being PRODUCTIVE. There is another, newer, wiser part of me that is saying, "Have patience. You spent the first 1/3 of your life rushing around and now it's time to sit back a bit. Let things unfold. Trust the universe. Enjoy the freedom and stillness your life is currently affording you. Stir the pot, but then have enough patience to let things simmer. When it's time, the right opportunities will appear."
My book & prop shelf. Mats, bolsters, blankets, blocks,
straps, dozens of yoga books, my essential oil diffuser &
of course my guitar for accompaniment

    So for now, that's what I'm doing. The ease of my new city, the warm weather, the constant influx of visitors and friends, and doubling up my daily meditation is helping. Even though "things" aren't settled, I feel settled. In the meantime I've been setting up my home yoga studio. Check out the pics and let me know what you think!

For now, I'm my only client but if you build it, [and are patient] they will come!