LIVING THE SOULFUL LIFE
Patience, Persistence and Trust
By Scott Kalechstein
“Patience is Natural To Those Who Trust.”
— A Course In Miracles
In the fall of 1996 I began feeling the call to get my own place and live alone. I had never lived alone before. I had gone from parents to college roommates to lovers to housemates to lovers, but never alone.
Finding a place to live was always an easy task for me. I would make an announcement that I needed a new home at the end of one of my local concerts, and someone would let me know they were looking for a new house-mate. I wasn’t choosy, and if the universe served it on my plate, I accepted it. I fancied myself to be quite adept at going with the flow.
Looking back on it, I suspect my easy-going attitude was an _expression of a lack of self-love; I didn’t feel deserving to envision something I deeply wanted, put my order out and possibly receive it! Instead, I passively made the best of whatever came along. Beggars can’t be choosers, but I was feeling ready to throw off my identity as a beggar and accept a bigger vision of who I was.
This time I was ripe to take a big step in the quality of my self-nurturing, much like learning to slow cook a gourmet meal after years of microwave dinners.
I began the search for my dream home by getting clear on what I passionately wanted and writing it down. I spent some time meditating each morning on the following wish list:
My Ideal Living Space
1. 0 to three miles away from the beach, in Encinitas, Leucadia, Cardiff, La Costa or Solana Beach.
2. Tucked away in nature surrounded by abundant greenery, quiet and peaceful, yet five minutes or so away from civilization.
3. A lovely cottage type of place, with a bedroom, a kitchen, an office space, a living room and a nice bathroom with a bathtub and a shower with good water pressure.
4. Good sun exposure, bright and cheerful. The temperature is comfortable in the summer and comfortable in the winter.
5. There is a great street or pathway for my quiet walks.
6. I am free to make plenty of noise and express myself emotionally. I have plenty of space from my neighbors.
7. I have an abundance of garage space or some other convenient storage space for my stuff.
8. The rent is $800 or less and the landlord is very nice, helpful and cooperative. They appreciate my music and my spirituality, and consider it a blessing that I live there.
9. I have a cozy backyard with nice greenery and an abundance of sun!
10. I have free access to a nearby tennis court and swimming pool. Thank you, God!
11. The space has a feeling of a sanctuary. It feels safe, spiritual, joyous and exciting to be there. I have certainty that this is my space!
This or something better now manifests for me by November 1st for the highest good of all concerned. Yay, God! Thank you, God, for this beautiful space. I will use it to glorify Life and to experience and express deeper levels of peace, joy and beauty. I am worth it, and I claim it now!
Now, besides covering all my metaphysical bases by visualizing and giving thanks for my wonderful new home, I was also honoring the gods of practicality by telling everyone I knew what I was looking for, scouring the newspapers for ads and driving around my favorite neighborhoods in search of For Rent signs.
Several places I visited were tempting, but I resisted the urge to compromise on a place that didn’t meet the essential criteria. One place had everything that I wanted except sunlight. Another was perfect except that it was on a street with traffic noise. One place was so seductively close to my dream that I even went so far as to write out a deposit check, but after checking in with my heart I discerned that it, too, was not ‘the one’.
What was happening to me? Was I becoming a snob? Three months of courting close calls had gone by, and I was getting tired. One day, while driving away from another near miss, I noticed I was starting to get weak in terms of my mental sobriety. What began as one glass of whine rapidly became thinking the hard stuff. What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? How come I’m being deprived? Why am I being punished!?
Suspicious of where these victim musings might be leading me, I decided to stop the binge dead in its tracks by offering my mind another inquiry: What soul qualities am I developing by having this search take longer than I want? What gifts can the universe be conspiring to bless me with through this challenge? A one-word answer trickled down my spine, causing my relapse to relax and my ego to withdraw the grievance I had placed before God: PATIENCE.
Ah, patience. What was that? And where can I get some right away? Much of my life I seemed to be on a quest for the quickest route to gratification. Taking another look at my wish list, I saw that it needed revising. Where it had said, “This or something better now manifests for me by November 1st.” I changed the words to “This or something better now manifests for me in God’s perfect timing for the highest good of all.” My goal changed from getting a place as soon as possible to having patience with, and even enjoying the process of finding one.
I confess I never made it to the attitude of enjoyment, but I did come to an acceptance, a peace about the whole thing. It was as if my inner child had been jumping up and down, shouting “I want it now! I can’t be peaceful until I get it!” We had a chat, my child-self and I, in which I let him rant and rave and vent his feelings. After some validation and catharsis he was willing to listen, and I coached him on the wisdom of patience.
As soon as I emotionally let go of my attachment to when I would find it, it showed up! Following up on an ad in a paper for a one-bedroom guesthouse, I walked into a charming cottage type of place in my favorite quiet neighborhood. It met all the essentials on my list and then some. If I were a hand, this was my glove, and it fit perfectly. I imagined the writing I would do in it. I imagined how I would furnish it. I imagined filling the space with warm, loving energy. My head was buzzing as I filled out an application alongside many other people, some of them like me, drooling with hope and desire. This place was a rare find!
The next day I waited for the phone to ring as I petitioned the universe with prayer, meditation and some traditional begging. On the morning of the second day I got a call from my new (you can see I practice positive thinking) landlord. “Scott, we have a few more questions to ask you. We’ve offered the place to a woman who’s not sure if she’s going to take it; she will be letting us know this afternoon. If she declines, you are next in line.”
I spent the following five hours feeling a wild range of emotions, including waves of fear, which came up strongly as I allowed myself to feel my desire for this place. I understood why I had spent much of my life not going for the gold. Mediocrity was a safe haven from the fear of loss. I took a long walk on a deserted beach, breathing deeply, shouting my thoughts to God, trembling out my fears of not getting it, while affirming my faith that I was being led to my highest good, and if this wasn’t the place, it would be something better. That afternoon I got the call, and two weeks later I moved in.
I have been living here since January, 1997. I have never felt so wonderful about where I reside. Every day I give thanks that I have been given this home, and that I flexed and developed the muscles of patience, persistence and trust, staying with the process until it showed up. I have a tremendous feeling of satisfaction, knowing that I am here because I stretched out of my comfort zone of deservability to receive it. I was not willing to settle for anything less.
When stocking my home with appliances, I decided not to purchase a microwave oven. It seemed contrary to the direction my life was taking. Microwaves are about speed. And speed, whether a drug or an attitude of impatience, kills the joys of process, as well as the quality of the finished product. The finer things in life usually cook up slowly, whether it be meals, lasting relationships, or an ideal living space.
Scott Kalechstein is a minister, a recording artist, a troubadour, a lighthearted miracle mischief maker, and a friend and guide to those making the transition from fear to love. He travels the United States, as well as Canada and Europe, speaking and singing at conferences, Unity and Religious Science Churches, and wherever people are open to humor and playfulness merging with truth and wisdom. He can be surfed at http://www.scottsongs.com and reached at email@example.com
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