The Waiting Game

Most of us have had the sense of waiting many times in our lives. We wait in line at the grocery store. We wait for our numbers to be called in the lottery. We wait for a loved one to return home. We wait for our bodies to heal after an injury or illness, and we wait for the water to
Nancy Kalina
boil. I find myself waiting for my new business to flourish. It’s as if whatever is on the other side of the waiting brings hope of instantaneous happiness and fulfillment.

Recently, I found myself getting anxious and impatient with the waiting process. I kept thinking, “This is taking too long.” As a result I got busy — busy trying to force my business to grow at the rate I wanted it to grow and in the time period I wanted this all to happen.

As a doer by nature, the waiting game is difficult for me. Enjoying the waiting and the process does not come easily. When I was getting impatient with the growth of my practice, I wanted to do, write, e-mail, network, create a buzz around my business and, let’s face it, try to control the waiting game. The more I did, the more I expected to have people lining up to see me. The problem with this crazed way of thinking is that it pulled me out of my authentic way of being in the world. Where I had been relaxed, I became anxious. Where I had felt comfortable with the time that it takes a new business to catch on, I became uncomfortable with the process. Where I had been stress-free, I became desperate. I wanted results yesterday! I had become my own worst enemy. With a friend’s assistance, it became clear that I was getting in my own way.

What if we could view the waiting game differently? What if we could see it as a necessary step on the journey? Why are we in such a hurry? Am I in a race with some unknown being to have a flourishing practice? Take waiting at a traffic light. We could be in a hurry, thinking, “This should be going faster.” But does the resulting panic or anxiety about how long it is taking the light to change make it change any faster? Of course not. And I find that in many cases, rushing a process has the opposite effect. I find that when I am anxious, in a rush and feeling pressured, I am swimming upstream. I feel like I am fighting all the elements. Everything is arduous. Conversely, when I am relaxed and calm, things just seem to fall into place.

Everything happens in its own time. The seasons change without any help from us. Flowers bloom when they are ready to bloom. Sprained ankles heal on the body’s time. People grieve as long as it takes, in their own time and in their own way. It takes a precise amount of time to bake a cake. You can’t make it bake faster than the ingredients will allow. You could turn up the heat, but the result will probably not be what you want. Really, nothing can be rushed. It is our illusion that we can and should speed things up.

So, perhaps the key is to view waiting as the necessary time period where life is percolating. Maybe another key element is learning to value waiting. After all, things are happening. We are just unaware of the itsy-bitsy advances that it takes for things to organically move forward. We are so busy trying to make major changes occur instantaneously that we do not celebrate or even see the miniscule occurrences that are taking place quietly in their own time. As stated earlier, if we would simply let go, value the waiting, let things grow by themselves and literally get out of the way, things may actually speed up. It seems counterintuitive to do less to become more productive. Nevertheless, it is the difference between going upstream, fighting all the rapids and pushing against the current or simply allowing yourself to go with the flow downstream. Personally, I enjoy going downstream. It simply feels better to my body, mind and essential self.


Sharing Corner

There is so much to share this month. The first thing to share is that I had a great opportunity to be on national radio. On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, I was a guest on the Coach Me Caroline radio show, which is hosted by Caroline Dowd-Higgins. This show streams on It was a wonderful debut for me. Take a bit of time and listen to the podcast. You can download it here:

Additionally, Kim (my partner) and I visited the Omega Institute June 8-10. Omega is a place to explore the extraordinary potential that exists in all of us as individuals and together as a human family.  I always say that the Omega Institute is like a camp for adults.  However, it really is for anyone who wants to grow as a human being.  A nonprofit organization, Omega was founded on the holistic worldview that the well-being of each of us is deeply connected to the well-being of all living things. The institute continues to be at the forefront of human development. With a faculty of hundreds of teachers from around the world, Omega offers workshops and classes that support their mission. If you have never heard of the Omega Institute, I encourage you to look it up. You can visit the website at this address:

Our weekend at the Omega Institute was glorious. We went to see Byron Katie.  Katie (as she prefers to be referred to) is an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as "The Work of Byron Katie" or simply as "The Work."  The Work is one of the tools that I learned in my life coach training, and I use it in my practice to help clients dissolve their thoughts. The Work is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. It is a way to find peace within yourself and with the world. Anyone with an open mind can do The Work. I use this valuable tool in my personal life and life coach practice and have seen amazing transformations. People claim they feel lighter as a result of not believing their thoughts any longer.

Spending a weekend with Byron Katie was not only an incredible opportunity to grow as a human being, but it was also an opportunity to explore my own thinking. For example, my thought above that “this is taking too long” is completely inaccurate.  I realize through doing The Work on myself that “this is taking too long” is inaccurate because it takes time to grow a new business.  It takes time for people to know that you are there.  No business is fully busy and stable within the first six months.  Therefore, I realize through this process that thinking this thought is causing my distress.  I am putting expectations that are too high on myself.  Coming to this realization can feel a bit liberating.

For more about Byron Katie and The Work you can visit…

Finally, I am including an Ashley Brilliant comic that I was reminded of when I was spending time with Byron Katie. Again, it’s all about getting out of our own way.

Your Task Is Simple



I find that I can always find a Ralph Marston slideshow that goes with what I am writing about. I hope you enjoy this one and begin to consider how powerful it could be to challenge and investigate your own personal thoughts.


Until next time,

Safe Space Life Coaching

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