Patience Is Not Inaction

Sometimes, I find myself pacing around the house wondering what it is I should do next. When that happens, I focus on my breath and with each inhale, fragments of my self which are working away on my next moves seem to return to a center.

It’s as if I am split into different parts of the brain to navigate a complex system within an equally chaotic One, while my body and I are left behind like a double act of zombies going through daily motions.

I breathe, and slowly, but surely, I get a feeling that multiple parts of me converge to have a group meeting in the metaphorical writers room, and when I feel more present, more whole, that’s when I ask “what would a person 10x smarter than me do now?” 

This usually sparks some sort of whispered action which I silently hear. There’s a me in here that knows the answer, and it’s not letting the me that asked know. I simply do what I am told, like a child trusting its guardian, forced to trust the movement forward. 

What else can I do in the reality of many possibilities?
I take a step forward and watch myself do what a person 10x smarter than me (might) do now, even though I don’t understand the risky decisions being made. 

“I am so different to who I used to be that I’m still not used to these new behaviours”, I write, going back to add a ‘u’ in the American autocorrected ‘behavior’. 

I’m not an astronaut in the conventional sense, one whose body leaves the exosphere to view our planet from enough distance you could blot the Earth out with your thumb, but one who did nonetheless explore the outer ranges of the universe in a way that left my body behind, as I ventured into the memory-erasing unknown, to finally return home with similar turbulence as a spaceship piercing through the atmosphere.

In trying to make sense of my experience and share the story, I came across this piece of Art which beautifully captures what my life feels like now. The Flammarion Engraving.  

I briefly popped my head through the firmament, the edge of the cosmos, and saw something I could not unsee, something which has made the bubble we live in seem as though it were no longer enough for me.

In this new World, bound to corporeality, it’s hard to know what matters, what or who I should care about, what rules and laws could or should evaporate, what job I should have, what rules I should obey, all these man-made constructs evaporate, and although I see the utility of them, one could argue that from a lion’s perspective, the cage, albeit useful for the protection of the visitors, hinders the king’s nature. 

And so I pace, back and forth, like a trapped animal, waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Maybe as a remnant of primal DNA, or simply old habits uncomfortable in stillness. 

I was so used to doing, to working, all the time, fighting for survival with a mindset of scarcity that serenity is distressing. 

And now, there’s a new driver behind the wheel, a new mind, spirit, soul perhaps, whose returned to a body who remained on terra firma, and the connection between the new world and the old has yet to be bridged, like the captain of Theseus’s Ship sensing land over the horizon, but still floating on a surface between sky and sea.

The metamorphosis was painful.

Sometimes, the body would get angry, and I wonder if it was its way of throwing a tantrum because it isn’t wise enough to ride the celestial rollercoaster. At other times, the mind would get angry at the body’s limitations.

I once cried when leaning against a wall and felt the comfort of something having your back. Not just metaphorically, but literally, like a hyper-vigilant animal in constant turmoil from threat, discovering the benefits of edges. 

Incremental changes eventually lead to the desired outcome, but steps can be so slow, it’s hard to see progress, and sometimes, it is vital for success to breathe, be still and wait.

Patience is not inaction.