Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Gift of Waiting

Today I waited.  I know you’ve done this too — U.P.S. called and said they would deliver my package today anytime from 9am until 6pm.  I really thought it was going to be around 9am.  I don't know why I thought that, I just hoped, I guess.  I had errands to run and I didn’t want to be stuck in the house all day.  Turns out I was.  It wasn’t until 5:50 tonight that my doorbell rang. 

And it struck me that I wasn’t that annoyed with U.P.S.  I had decided to stay home so I wouldn’t have to go pick up the package.  It was my decision.  Yet, normally I would have been counting the hours, and bad TV shows I watched, wondering where the UPS man was. 

Instead I used this time at home to go deeper into a long meditation this morning.  My mind wouldn’t stop forming stories of future plays I want to write.  But it did become quiet at some point and I was glad that the day was wide open and I had extra time to meditate.  Then I worked on wedding projects, answered emails for Swami Cat, (since I take care of all his correspondence) and around 5pm waited for my honey to come home for dinner.  He was stuck in traffic right near home but couldn’t get to the exit. So I had to wait some more. 

While waiting I remembered a time when I hated to wait.  I was furious with one ex-boyfriend for leaving me alone all day and then coming home just in time to eat and go to sleep, when he could have been home earlier.  He just stopped by a friend’s to help him do some gardening or some other very nice thing that left me at home re-warming dinner.

Lately people have been telling me how proud of me they are that I “waited” for the right man to come.  My Gyno actually told me this.  Friends have mentioned it.  I do feel very lucky, but I don’t know if you call what I was doing waiting.  I was praying, begging, manifesting my life partner into existence with all my heart.  So I would not call it waiting, unless maybe waiting impatiently.  The very notion of “waiting” makes me think pacing, agonizing, short shallow breaths that cause one to become angry.  I have had this type of waiting several times in my life. 

But today no.  I waited patiently.  Whoa- did I just say that?  One of my spiritual goals in life is to garner patience.  I have never been a patient child, so my mother reminds me often.

I have a book on my bookshelf that a friend loaned me.  I took it down today as I thought about this idea of waiting.  It’s called The Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting by Holly Whitcomb.  It’s such a great reminder that all good things come to those who wait.  The seven gifts that she writes about are: patience, loss of control, living in the present, compassion, gratitude, humility and then trust in God.  What lovely gifts.  In the book she quotes one of my favorite writers, Madeleine L’Engle:

“During the two years when A Wrinkle in Time was consistently being rejected by publisher after publisher, I often went out and shouted at God.  “Why don’t you let it get accepted?”  But when Wrinkle was finally published, it was exactly the right moment for it, and if it had been published two years earlier it might well have dropped into a black pit of oblivion.”

Madeleine also is quoted saying that what seems a “NO” is often a prelude to a greater “YES.” 

So true, so true.

Now I have to hope my friend doesn’t mind waiting a little bit longer for me to return this book.  It’s only been a year and a half.  What’s a little more waiting?

My question of the week is, how do you spend your waiting time? 

***The first three responses to this blog posting get signed photographs from the famous Swami Cat himself.***

Om Shanti!


  1. Lovely post. They get better and better! Keep writing! OM shanthi.

  2. I do not LIKE 'waiting'... I would rather have it happen--whatever it is--like, make that UPS package come NOW....

    Ironically, I make people 'wait' for me b/c I am perpetually (90% of the time) late for appointments--it's like I misguage the time it takes me to get ready and then I am rushing... even if I am ready before the time--I stall & get distracted by something in my house. Like, put those dishes away, clean the counter,empty the dishwaher, put a load of wash in, iron those two pants or tops, check my email ( I just checked it 1/2 an hour ago)...

    When it comes to meditation--I have little patience making myself be 'still' b/c I feel I am 'wasting' time. I know that is not the case, though, and when I have made time to meditate, I feel so peaceful & calm and ready to be alive & awake & aware even if all those thoughts & ideas creep in (as they always do)... I hear every little sound--the birds chirping, the wind rustling the leaves, my ears 'humming' (b/c it is so quiet), my breathing, then crack my toes, wiggle my neck, tense my body--then release....relax-- and fall asleep!!!!!! Augh!

    I have tried many times to be on time--made promises to myself, have little rewards for myself, even bought a digital watch ( with the accurate time and a chime on every hour) and a timer that I set to tell myself that I have ten more minutes & then I HAVE to leave or I will be late... (There is not ONE clock in my house that has the accurate time (well--maybe one--the one by the tv) Hubby Ron has the clock in the Explorer set 20 minutes fast--the kitchen clock , like 7-8 minutes fast, --the bedroom clocks 10-12 minutes fast....) Sigh... How do I change my late habit??

  3. Let's try this again! I don't see it either! I wrote that I am looking forward to teh Meditation Teacher Training that is about to begin and was wondering if I will see you there?
    OM! Sarada

  4. Thank you three for the wonderful comments. It is much more enjoyable having a conversation, rather than a monologue, wouldn't you say? I would like to send you three winners a Swami Cat photo which he is very excited to sign and send to you. If you want you can email your address to me, or post it in the blog and don't worry I won't publish it. I always see it first and decide whether to the content is suitable for publishing.

    Thank you!


This blog was born through the inspiration and teachings of Rev. Jaganath Carrera and The Yoga Life Society. www.yogalifesociety.com