Are you waiting well? Whether designing your life or remodeling your home, each day is full of hurry up and wait. But how patient are you? Are you enjoying the process? Or are you letting future concerns steal the present moment?
One of my latest “Style Your Spirit” videos was shot during a morning walk along the water in San Francisco. I started thinking about some irons I’ve got in the fire as well as an important meeting. I’m getting better at realizing when I’m not in the moment, so I stopped myself in my tracks and focused on my breath, which diverted my attention to the nearby sand, water and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. This returned me back to the present moment.
The universe has my back — I have always believed this. People, situations and signs appear just when I need them. Even when challenges arise, I know they’re here to teach me something.
Recently, during one of my worrisome waiting modes, I got a sign while scrolling through Facebook. I saw a blog by my friend Carolyn Norton aptly titled, “Are you waiting well?” She shared candidly about the wait for her perfect partner, wedding and living happily ever after. The honesty and vulnerability about waiting well — whatever it is we are longing for — resonated deeply. I couldn’t “wait” to share!
I met Carolyn, alumni relations manager of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, several years ago when I was asked speak on “The Power to Change Lives by Sharing Your Life Story” at their leadership summit. She has a great, fulfilling job, always carrying a warm smile and great energy, but I didn’t know about her struggle with waiting well. I’m so honored she shared her story. I hope you share your waiting story in the comments below too.
Here’s what I learned:
When you live in the future, you are anxious and worry more than you should. Whenever you are wanting things to be different or to be somewhere else, you are suffering and are not in the present moment.
So what have I learned about waiting well? Let me preface that by saying that I’m getting better at it. We are all human beings, so it’s OK to fall out of the present moment and worry. The key, though, is to let yourself feel it, go through you and not wallow. I know I’m getting better at letting go of worry when I can identify it, feel it, let it pass and go on being in the present moment.
Here are some things that work for me:
1. I love the quote, “If what you’re worrying about won’t affect you in five years, don’t waste more than five minutes worrying about it.” Hallelujah, truth bomb!
2. This is how I process waiting for job- or project-related stuff:
- Set intentions — Why am I really trying to do that project or take on that job? Is it authentic and in the service of others? Is it ego related? Is it for money? Getting to the root of what is most important to me at that time helps me gain clarity on the why. If it isn’t aligned with my values, I let the opportunity pass.
- Take action — I believe that manifestation starts with intention-setting, but action is the second step. What are your main goals? What are the mini goals and timeline and ingredients I need to make it manifest? Then it’s all about getting your team together and taking action.
- Surrender — Once you’ve done all you can do, release it. Say a prayer and let it go. If it was really meant for you, it will happen.
- Build a tribe — Surrendering is the hardest thing to do. For me, having a tribe of people I trust to hold me accountable for this process not only keeps me on track, it helps me not go crazy as I try to wait well.
Remember, the present moment is where things grow, so enjoy the time you have now. My wise soul sister Terrie told me that waiting is when God lets you rest. Enjoy it so you can have the energy to do the work you’re meant to do when the opportunity shows up. How are you waiting well? I want to know fellow waiters!