Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The State of Wait

I feel like I live in a perpetual state of waiting. I'm waiting for registration to come in for classes scheduled soon, for checks to come in for work I've done, for packages to come with things I've ordered, for new opportunities to crystallize from the dream-seeds that I planted. I'm waiting.

I'm getting better at waiting though. I think I'm getting used to it maybe. I don't get as anxious as I used to, and feel less stressed out. I have more faith that things are being arranged, and I see signs that things are developing to make them happen. That helps me have patience.

Today I had a powerful and profound day. I was at The Cleveland Clinic, where I volunteer as a Reiki practitioner on Tuesdays. I go around with one of the Healing Services staff, either a clergy or a staff Reiki practitioner, and give Reiki to patients who have put in a request for a visit. Sometimes in the afternoons, I go to nursing stations and offer the nurses Reiki. They usually accept if they have a few minutes, and they are enthusiastic and appreciative. It's a fulfilling opportunity, and I look forward to it every week.

So, today I was going on patient visits with a Healing Services staff person. We went to visit and give Reiki to two patients who were in the stages of dying. There was no more that could be done (medically) for them, and we had been called to offer them Reiki to ease their transition. We also offered and then gave Reiki to their family members who were there with them.

Giving Reiki to these patients brought back intense memories of being with my mother-in-law at the end of last summer as she was going through this transition. I recognized immediately the way these patients were in and out of consciousness, the way they seemed between worlds.

Most of all, it brought back memories of the waiting that we all did as we were with my mother-in-law, during her final few days. The family members of these patients today were also waiting, providing comforting presence to their loved ones.

I could feel as the Reiki flowed that these patients were going to pass soon. The energy was different, slower, more gentle, than when I give Reiki to a person with an illness, wound, or post-operative procedure. Both patients acknowledged the energy. One said it was wonderful. The other nodded when we asked if it was okay for her. They both knew what was happening.

Their family members who we gave Reiki to afterward were appreciative. The energy helped them relax and feel cared for.

All day today, I've been reflecting on this experience. I understand the waiting they were all doing.

I asked the angels to be with them all, especially the little 4 year-old son of one of the patients. The waiting they are doing is a stronger, more emotionally intense kind of waiting than the waiting that's part of my daily life. Their waiting is their job right now.

My daily waiting is something I have to monitor, though. It's not my job. My job, I remind myself, is to live in NOW. Because waiting all the time takes away from what I'm doing now, and I forget to enjoy the present.

My kids are on winter break. I took them to the playground yesterday, despite the 19 degree temperatures outside, to slide down the icy-fast slide and then get some chocolate mint hot cocoa. It was my birthday. That part of the day was the best part of the day. We had a good time. Tonight, after dinner, we played a game together. Game night is one of their favorite family activities. When I'm distracted from the waiting by doing something fun with my kids, I am enjoying life a lot more.

Waiting can lead me to worrying. I'm going to be more mindful of that process, and make the effort to stay focused and present. Then the angels can do their work of making things happen, and they can line up the steps I'll take toward getting me to my goals. This is a much better way to live.

Being in that waiting space again with the families of the transitioning patients today reminded me of the difference between necessary waiting and unnecessary waiting.



Amanda said...

This is beautiful, and I am so grateful to you for the work you do. I recently trained in restorative yoga and am drawn to providing it to those with chronic illnesses, as well as their loved ones. I just don't think there's anything more beautiful than easing another person's pain. Also, the distinction you draw between necessary and unnecessary waiting is right on. Thank you.

Amy Oscar said...

I am blown away by the quiet wisdom in this post - What you call 'waiting' I would call 'presence' and I'm moved close to tears by your description. This is something I've been learning this year, all year, myself. Beautiful. PS Happy Birthday!

Ernie said...

What a nice post, thank you. Some thoughts came to my mind. While waiting people can use the time to pray, send positive thoughts, send Reiki, read from spiritual books or favorite books, or talk to the person while asleep with kind words. There will always be moments of pause that can be interrupted with a soothing thought or a kind act.

Alice Langholt said...


Thank you for your comment and thank you for appreciating my thoughts on waiting. Keep doing the good work you're drawn to do. Thanks for sharing the light.


Your words mean the world. And thank you for the birthday wishes.


You know how to use time wisely and I'm grateful for your friendship above all.

Love to you all,

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Beth said...

Thanks for this post, it's a balance isn't it? Being present while yet making plans for the future. I've always been the kind of person who is looking forward, imagining and waiting for what the future may hold. My husband is one who looks to the past, is a great collector of photos and things which remind him of the past. Maybe together we can find enough balance to enjoy where we are now.

Both of our fathers passed away shortly after our wedding, neither could attend the ceremony as they were in the hospital. This time of year is always one of both contemplation of the past and planning from the future. Thanks for reminding me to stay in the NOW as well.