I had this lovely polished stone I carried in my purse with me for quite a long time. It had the word patience on it. A friend of mine runs a gift shop and she had a bowl of polished stones on the counter each with different words, harmony, inspiration, love, peace, happiness, kindness…In any case, she very kindly told me to take one as a gift. I shut my eyes and reached in the bowl and fished around until one seemed to touch me back, I picked it up and took a look. Patience. I smiled, but my friend was disappointed, she told me I could put it back and take one with a better word, I laughed saying patience was a brilliant word, that I most certainly had not yet fully appreciated!
I put the stone in my purse, chuckling to myself I should keep it there, nearby me until the urge to not throw it at a bad driver or other frustrating circumstances arose. The fact that I have occasionally suffered with road rage on the way to yoga is just such an oxymoron….It was my talisman for tolerance and compassion. It’s presence allowed me to laugh at my own misgivings as I would feel impatience arise in me and I thought of tossing my patience, but usually if I came across it rummaging through my bag, I would just smile and wrap my hand about its coolness and think of it’s power just by knowing it was something I was aspiring to be better at achieving.
On my trip to India, I reacquainted myself and befriended an adorable five year old boy. As we were out one day, he seemed distracted by adult time around him, and I looked through my bag of tricks to see if I had anything to distract him with…I came across the stone. I pulled it out and showed it to him. He loved that it was smooth and shiny and had a word written on it. He, rather impressively for a five year old, sounded out patience pretty well on his first time. I told him, the rock was his to keep. Oh, how he beamed and thanked me, but also asked me if perhaps I could find any red rocks too? I laughed. I love the mindset of such innocence!
I ran into his family again a day or two later, and found out the rock was a big hit. That weekend his dad got sick and was I’m sure, miserable and resting, trying to get better, but meanwhile, his son kept walking around holding the rock up, saying with a smile, “have a little patience daddy.” I. Love. Kids. The levity and yet truth someone so young and naive can bring to light always inspires me.
I admit it, yes, the irony of it too, I still comically can become annoyed by bad drivers as I drive to yoga. Driving to go bliss out, be mindful, meditate, chant and do asana can be filled with stress. Morning commuting bites. However, with my rock now in safe keeping of a little one’s hands, I know that not only are all the drivers on the road now safe from the highly remote possibility I would have ever thrown the rock, haha, but that I’m fine with dealing with what comes up. Not everyday flows as we want it to, but it will flow regardless, my actions and reactions can make all the difference. Acknowledging a flaw in myself with compassion allows it to become less prevalent, less frequent, less damaging. So I’ll try to have a little patience, ideally when I need it most!