Heart Lessons: Patience in the Restlessness

Sampad, Gujarat

The life I am living is not the same as the life that wants to live in me.”- Parker J. Palmer

As I sit to write late at night, a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions sweep through me. The past couple of months have been a hazy cloud of I don’t really know what. The wheels underneath whatever it is have been churning for quite some time now. For many years, I would say. Maybe lifetimes, I really don’t know. It’s a build up of whatever has been happening within me the last couple of years that has led me on this journey.

Like a flickering light, intense moments have flooded my being and have allowed me to see this incredible Shakti or strength that is waiting to be fully uncovered. I’ve been struggling to uncover what lies beneath. It’s a practice of patience in the most winding way.

Finding this patience to simply be with my internal restlessness has been its own journey. After a series of intense questioning, a friend slipped a message under my door which read “Be patient. Time will answer every single question”. Through this intense questioning and restlessness, I’ve had to catch myself and make sure I’m not looking for external comforts and answers to lean on.  

Through these questions, we sometimes create an expectation that answers will lead a wholeness into our lives. However, it is within the imperfections, the broken glass as we sometimes see it, that wholeness exists.

In one of my favorite articles of all time, Parker J. Palmer writes, “There are times when we are so unformed that we need to use values like an exoskeleton to keep us from collapsing. Sometimes we line up the loftiest ideals and set out to achieve them. Sometimes we simply find a “noble” way to live a life that isn’t our own, a life spent imitating heroes instead of listening to our own hearts”.

There are moments I need to take a step back and examine the inspiring people and spaces I am apart of. Spaces likes these have been cultivated by national heroes like Mahatma Gandhi or to village heroes who lived their lives with the same energy and love. As someone once told me, knowing such people comes with a great responsibility. It is no coincidence that this work, these people, and their projects continue to thrive in front of us. This great responsibility that we have is in uncovering our own gifts and treasures and giving them to the world. However, we must not get caught in the exoskeletons that worked for those heroes before our eyes and who came before us. They walked to the beat of their own drum, just as our work now is to understand and dance to the rhythm of our own beat.

Finally, I'll leave you with some words that deeply touched me:

Books that have been helpful through this journey: Shakti Leadership by Nilima Bhat and Raj Sisodia; A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer

Rina PatelComment