Everyone is waiting for something. Ask the person next to you – ‘What are you waiting for?’ They’ll hit you with quite a list. How they wait for their desires to manifest is another question altogether. Waiting well is an art that is rarely developed and yet has a huge influence on the quality of our lives.
You probably have a list of desires. Some of your desires are tangible, such as qualifications, career promotion, business success, travel, or better health. Your list probably also contains less tangible desires such as change, happier times, emotional maturity, or spiritual growth.
Chances are that your most valuable desires are not easily obtained and that they are rarely granted to you without some form of sacrifice. How you wait for your desires to manifest is a test of character and creativity. If you wait well you can become a patient, accepting and inventive person who spots an opportunity when it shows up, and seizes it. If you wait badly you can become frustrated, angry and apathetic, and it’s likely that you will miss the opportunities that finally come your way.
Whether you experience the positives or the negatives of waiting depends on how you wait – passively or actively.
Passive and active waiting
Passive waiting means that you spend more time dreaming, wishing and yearning than you do strategizing, planning and acting to bring your desires to fruition. Passive waiting is a defocused state that is valuable as long as it’s temporary, such as when you take a holiday, or time out for leisure and fun. If passive waiting is prolonged however, it can evoke future-focused thinking that distracts you from everyday reality and drains your life-force. Prolonged passive waiting is the domain of immature people with poor impulse control. They cannot accept delayed gratification and often fall into a collapsed state that incites pessimism, resentment and a victim mentality.
Active waiting is an empowered state of existence. You spend time putting practical plans together and taking small steps towards the things you are waiting for even if your circumstances are not ripe for manifesting your desires right now. You use the time to develop yourself, your purpose and intention, and to gain any knowledge and skills required to fulfil your desires. Rather than fantasising about a better future, you ground your energy and your actions into the present. Active waiting is the domain of a mature person who can hold a vision for themselves despite delays and uncertainties. Active waiting promotes humility, confidence and a heroic mentality.
Often we are denied something that feels very important to us for a very long time and for reasons that we don’t fully understand. This can occur due to external circumstances and also because of inner psychic patterns. Our psyche seems to force us to repeatedly experience current conditions before we can either leave them behind, or accept them as part of our lives. This is probably because there are lessons that we need to learn from our current situation and that the desire for change arises from impatience not wisdom.
Sometimes we have to burn off certain karmas; pay our dues and debts, before the winds of change can touch our lives. This can be a hard pill to swallow and it can undermine our trust in life and in ourselves. We may feel that life is treating us harshly and unjustly. If we can’t wait consciously and actively then we may act rashly, with poor impulse control. If we can engage in more active waiting we can reduce this harshness and manage our karma, making the most of the opportunities at hand. In this way we create new, positive karma.
Three keys to waiting well
The first key to waiting well is to develop self-awareness. The more self-aware you are the more you move away from passivity, and from the idea that life is happening to you. Heightened self-awareness means you can read your own reactions, motivations and the inner-psychic pressures that are manifesting in your life. Inner Silence is the great classical yoga-meditation for developing self-awareness; for hearing, seeing and feeling what’s really going on in you and in your life.
The second key is to have a life purpose. Prolonged passive waiting is often due to not knowing what you want. Without knowing your purpose, your list of desires will constantly change depending on external factors. Vagueness about purpose means that you spend much of your time doing things that have little meaning to you. This is bad for your wellbeing and bad for your relationships. The Find Life Purpose Course which we offer at various times of the year teaches important philosophical concepts and meditation techniques to gain clarity about your desires and enables you to develop a strategy and the willpower to fulfil them.
The third key is to act, to be creative and to go easy on yourself when you make mistakes. Making a resolve to use your energy creatively, rather than becoming frustrated, defeated or trying to force situations breaks up stagnation. Performing small achievable tasks that move you closer to the things you want builds confidence and faith in yourself.
Remember that you’re not alone in having to wait for your desires to manifest. Every person on the planet is waiting for something. They have their list of desires, and they are going about fulfilling it in their own way.