Some time ago I watched a documentary about a man living in the middle of nowhere, patiently building himself a log cabin to shelter him during the harsh winters. All the wood he used he cut with a hand saw, even the innumerable planks he needed for the floor and the roof. I was struck by how much patience the man had in going through this endless sawing without apparently showing any resistance or looking for other ways to do it more quickly.
Very recently I experienced what it means to allow yourself to be patient in the physical reality. I had to round off the ends of a wooden pole to be sued as a handrail for the stair to our attic. When I bought the pole I did not immediately work out how exactly I was going to shape it, I just preoccupied me with the position and the length. When my partner saw the pole she was content about its size and said that I had to round off the ends of course to make it nice and practical. “Of course”, I thought, but how am I going to do that without a turning lathe. With a file and sandpaper! “But, that is going to take ages!”, was my conclusion.
I took a breath, figured out the best way to round off the pole edge and started. It took me more than half an hour to reach a satisfactory result on one side. The other side went a little faster as I figured out how to optimize the work I was doing.
I was very satisfied with the result and the way I managed to go through physical labor to which I initially had resistances. I still had residual resistances at the idea I had to repeat this operation for two other pieces of handrail. But now that I have completed the second pole with easy within the hour and without impatience but just breathing and focusing on the physical aspect of that what I was doing I am confident the third pole will go as smoothly as the others.
Since I had reactions to starting this job I will now work out the resistances I’ve experienced to make sure I recognize patterns of thoughts and emotions so I can effectively direct myself if a future situation triggers these patterns. To do so I will start doing self forgiveness to pinpoint and forgive myself I reacted on a specific point. Then I will define corrections to make sure I will correct myself in a similar situation.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to experience the physical labour I had to do in order to round off the ends of the pole as difficult and a unnecessary physical activity.
When and as I see myself going into a belief that a specific physical activity is difficult and unnecessary I stop and I breathe. I see, understand and realize that I am limiting myself within this belief.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have a tendency to look at how I can avoid physical labor by fantasizing about tools that can do the job but I do not have at my disposal.
When I see myself to have the tendency to avoid physical labor while fantasizing about how I could do it with tools I do not have, I stop and I breathe. I see, understand and realize that I am in the mind and not in the physical, and not acting with what is here and using the actual reality in the best way possible.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to think that rounding off the pole ends is unnecessary while suppressing the fact there is both a practical and aesthetic reason in making the ends rounded.
When I see myself suppressing real and practical facts with excuses, I stop and I breathe. I see, understand and realize that I am making up excuses while allowing me to suppress the real facts I see but don’t want to see. By stopping suppressing to see the real things for what they are I also stop my fear of dealing with real and physical facts and do not allow myself to hide in thoughts or in suppression.
I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to surprised the work seemed easier that expected when taking the labor breath by breath while I know that my mind is able to trick me and let me believe things that are not real. In this specific situation I tended to believe that rounding off the edges of the pole was a terrible activity, which it could have been if I allowed myself to believe it was such an activity.
When I see myself being surprised about physical facts (work) being easier than I thought I stop and I breathe. I see, understand and realize I still believe in my thoughts and tend to stick to it, disregarding the real experience I had on the matter. By allowing myself to accept the real physical experience I am allowing myself to be more effective in dealing with matters I encounter.