Many of us have been confronted with life altering decisions that can be nerve wracking. How many of those moments when we feel torn between the options that lay before us have caused distress, disguised through symptoms such as migraines, stomach aches, insomnia, nervousness or heart palpitations? By cultivating the trait of temperance, one can learn the value in trusting the process, divine timing and one’s own intuition. By navigating life with temperance, major life decisions become less burdensome and more pleasurably manageable. Clarity, serenity, surety and conviction are able to reign – the opposite of worry.
The best advice I ever received was – “When you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything at all – be still.” Temperance is the art of being still, knowing that clarity will arise and only then will you be able to take a strategic step forward towards your ultimate goal with confidence.
A few years ago I was at a crucial crossroad (one of many) in my life. A time pressing decision had to be made, or so I thought. I was offered to move from Buenos Aires to Baltimore for a relationship, without promise of any potential career opportunities. I was nervous to say the least and definitely lost days of sleep. I took a step back and decided to dive within myself to listen to what the symptoms of stress were trying to say to me. After much time spent alone in nature doing my walking meditations, I prayed for an answer and what arose was the knowing that time is on my side. Temperance was the answer. There was no need to accelerate a final decision, so I pressed the pause button, confiding that when I was ready I would make the right decision for myself. With the power of temperance now in my hands, I activated the ability to sit still, not decide and let the answer flow naturally to me.
I was taught to feel the decision within me. Less thinking, more heart. I awoke to the self- realization that anxiety is my worst enemy and that graceful patience combined with trust was the only way to make a strategically heartfelt decision. By implementing this tactic, I made the final decision a few months later (on my own timeline), not allowing someone else’s concept of time persuade me. I relinquished the destiny of my life back into my own hands. I made the heartfelt and mindful decision to leave my home country, the place that I adore, by taking a leap of faith with the knowing that my destiny was back in the USA. Temperance enabled me to make a confident decision, filled with curiosity and even excitement. Temperance gifted me with vision, trust and the ability to never look back, despite not knowing what the future had in store for me.
In the undertaking of making a pivotal life decision, I learned to sit with my anxiety, observing it, learning from it and growing. Temperance was the tool that allowed me to make a timely and unwavering decision about my future path. Until I learned the power of temperance, I had to bear the uncertainty and the pain that anxiety would cause until it settled into a peaceful resolution. The only way I could tolerate these kinds of days in the process of making the “right” decision was by being kind to myself, patient and moderating the power these worrisome emotions had on me. Just like clouds pass by, I knew that the doubts and fears I had would also pass and whatever direction I decided to take, it would be made with maturity, intelligence and conviction.
In retrospect I learned that if you choose to take your time rather than rush a decision, you will ultimately be transformed. I now trust that I will receive more than I asked for and that only with temperance will I align with the path that connects me to my soul’s calling – my truth.
It takes patience to become the best version of yourself every single day. It takes patience to love and choose yourself over others, including external pressures and sensations (fear, anxiety, worry). It is with graceful patience – temperance- that you can live a life in the purest of its forms, inclusive of simplicity, freedom, inner peace and self-compassion.
Dive deep within yourself to seek the gift of temperance – silencing all external forces – honoring your unapologetic truth and taking action in the direction that resonates with your truest visions. May you incorporate the beauty of temperance in every step along your journey.