“No stone can stand against the crashing waves forever.”
This simple truth speaks volumes to the power of consistency. We all know that the ocean pounds against the shoreline, and over vast amounts of time it smashes tall jagged cliffs into gentle sandy beaches.
What is consistency, really?
In consistency we find the combination of determination and patience. This is temperance at work, a form of spiritual alchemy, that takes two divergent forces and binds them together into one coherent and focused force.
Temperance has its own card in the Tarot, which often depicts an angel with one foot in the water and another on land or the blending of fire and water. While these two elements seem to be at odds with each other, when handled skillfully they can be used to power steam engines.
Determination is the force of will that drives you through the toughest times and refuses to allow you to stop short of your goals.
Patience is the force of will that waits and bides it’s time, ever mindful of the bigger picture and always seeking perfection.
Either one of these forces alone will leave you out of balance. Too much determination and you will burn yourself out and leave yourself weak and incapable. Too much patience and you will procrastinate, forever seeking the perfect moment that never comes.
To learn how these forces are properly combined we can simply look to Mother Nature.
Even the mightiest wave in the loudest storm may seem weak as it shatters itself agains the rocky shore. This is a burst of determination. One wave is fluid and easily broken by the shore. One storm soon passes and the seas will quiet within a day.
Patience, of course, doesn’t mind that the shores don’t come crumbling down in one fell swoop. Ultimately patience doesn’t mind if the shore ever crumbles at all and doesn’t mind if the waves stop altogether.
But Mother Nature in her balance knows the power of consistency, and the waves never stop altogether. Big or small waves are not the key, it is the power of a million relentless waves that begin to make their mark.
Over the centuries, millennia and aeons, Mother Nature has consistently shown us the power of consistency.
Ocean waves beat down the shore, seasonal flooding leaves behind fertile fields. Day circles endlessly into night and back again, as we wake and sleep, and wake and sleep again, slowly breathing life into our dreams; or is it bringing our dreams into life?
In fact, when we talk about consistency, natural rhythms must come to mind as they are the fundamental teachers of consistency in our lives. Natural rhythms reassure us that everything is as it should be. The rhythm of nature can even be heard in your heartbeat. And all of these natural rhythms link to music, dance and life itself.
So what is the point of this? Why bother expounding on the obvious?
Because we can learn from nature’s small and patient movements.
A single heartbeat by itself simply moves some blood around to help ensure that the body is getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs. This simple and mundane effort alone may not seem like a spectacular deed. A single heart beat does not build space ships or write poetry. A single heart beat doesn’t seem like such a big deal at all, until the moment it doesn’t happen.
And that is the message of consistency. When you string together a lifetime of heartbeats you can create a masterpiece of accomplishment, purpose and meaning. As soon as a single heart beat fails to come, it’s all over.
Small things come together, time after time, all throughout the natural world to instruct us on how we can make the most of our lives.
We can learn in our financial pursuits to save a little and give a little every day.
We might learn to tend our relationships like we would a garden, watering them consistently with kind words.
We might apply these lessons to our community, volunteering time every week to help those less fortunate than ourselves or spending time every day picking up litter.
You can become an expert at anything with the simple power of consistency.
Each step you take may seem inconsequential at the time.
Any given step may seem tedious or even painful.
But only the step you refuse to take will stop you from fulfilling your dreams.
You can harness the power of patience and determination. You can become consistent at anything you choose. You can be the simple stack of coins that becomes a mountain of wealth. You might be the trickle of kindness in the world that becomes a raging flood.
Your consistent action builds power over time and step by simple step you can achieve amazing things.
Set your sights on a goal. Take big steps when they are possible and small steps when they are not. Just don’t stop walking.
Who knows what wonders your gentle, steady tending might accomplish?
Wishing you a smooth and pleasant road to walk on.