Waiting to exhale.
Waiting in line.
Waiting in vain.
I've always had a negative association with waiting. To me, the act of waiting seemed like the opposite of action, the antithesis of actualization. I remember when my father was dying, I was so frustrated with him. I felt like he was just waiting. I wanted him to do something, take charge, be enraged. He just waited. Somehow, the fact that he had terminal cancer didn't really matter to me.
Waiting means something else to me these days. A few months ago, my psychic told me that in my normal mode of functioning, I do as much in a half-day as some people do in a week. There is a reason why I have random bruises, cuts and burns on my body, stains on my clothes, two drinking glasses, and frosting on my ceiling. It is because I do 12 million things at a time. Lucia calls me "Clumsy Mommy."
Because I am so recklessly fast in getting my myriad of life tasks accomplished, I crave calm. A lot. To slow my frenetic pace down is not easy. The transition doesn't make sense. It's like driving sixty miles per hour and suddenly needing to be idling. This drastic action creates skid marks, car wrecks.
So, I've been practicing a new idea. In my speedy brain, when I notice that I need to slow down, I set that intention. Then I wait. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't. When it works, I get to a calm place. My heart rate slows, my brain quiets down, I get in touch with one thing I am doing (instead of twenty). When it doesn't work, I go back to my octopus-mode. What is different though, is that I've had the waiting moments, and even if I do go back to multi-tasking, I'm less crazy. The waiting takes me out of the chaos, even if I can't stay out.
In my Yoga practice, I've started waiting as well. Sometimes when I am in a posture and I feel tired, like I can't hold it for another second, instead of going right to my immediate response of falling out, I wait a second or two to see if something changes. Often, that little pause gives me a different perspective. New ideas occur to me, "Maybe I'm not that tired." "So what if my legs are shaking." "Maybe I can hold this bad boy a little bit longer."
Waiting has helped me most in Savasana. Savasana, the attempt to consciously relax, be still, open, receiving. This is hard for me; hard for most of us. At the end of my practice, I want to be there already. I want to be in that relaxed state because I've worked hard and now I am ready. I want to experience that amazing feeling where the floor holds me, my body is weightless, tingly, my mind somewhere just between waking up first thing in the morning and falling into a late afternoon nap. But it's like going from 60 to idle; it's a big change to move into Savasana from anywhere, even a Yoga practice. So, I get physically into my Savasana, and then I wait. I just wait. Will it come? Will my mind slow down? Will my body be still? I'm waiting to see, and, while I'm waiting, doing nothing really, it usually comes.