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The Practice of Patience

The Practice of Patience

Jon Kabat-Zinn says patience is a form of wisdom.

Patience is remembering you can’t push the river—which I sometimes try to do when in unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory. Like when I am forced to look at a limiting belief I have become so familiar with, and it takes way longer than I expect to let it go. Or when I make a significant shift in my business plan and it takes way longer to execute and see benefit than I can imagine. Or when I am stuck on the runway for hours due to weather and finally arrive at the gate, obsessed with every painful minute it takes to deplane, decreasing my chances of making my connection.

Any of these life situations go so much easier when we practice patience. These truths adapted from Rick Hanson’s Just One Thing help me remember why patience is a form of wisdom:

- Impatience is dissatisfaction and resistance—Patience is possibility
- Impatience is angry—Patience is peaceful
- Impatience focuses on what’s wrong—Patience is wide open to the big picture
- Impatience is controlling and clinging—Patience is letting go
- Impatience can’t stand unpleasantness—Patience is tolerance

Practicing patience allows us to let go of our often unrealistic expectations and consider the long-term effects of everything we are doing and be present all along the way. This is why patience is an important intention of mindfulness.

Where in your life today could you embrace the wisdom of patience and stop trying to push the river?

By Diane Sieg
Previously published on Diane's Blog


With a career that has taken her from the chaos of the emergency room to the calm of her yoga mat, Diane Sieg first discovered yoga as a great source of physical and emotional healing during a personal crisis and has been practicing ever since. Today, as an Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher, professional speaker, published author, retreat facilitator and life-saving coach, Diane empowers people to live their most authentic life, both on and off the mat. Her teaching style is a calm intensity with strong alignment based principles. Diane is the creator of 30 Days to Grace: A Daily Practice to Achieve Your Ultimate Goals, both in CD and book format. Read more about Diane at

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Start practicing a patient life now with a YogaDownload class!

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