When I was in middle school, I took the obligatory classes in order to become confirmed in the Catholic Church. I attended Catholic school, was being raised Catholic, and was at the age that the church asks teens to actively "confirm" that they want to be part of the church. It was a process called Confirmation and required that I go to a classmate's house on the weekends so that his mom could lecture us on different topics every week.
During one particular meeting, she turned to us and told us we should say a prayer and ask for help in an area of our lives. So, I squinched my eyes closed tightly and sent out to Mother Mary a desperate plea that she would give me some patience (cause at that moment I really did not have any). Sassy little Catholic girl.
Joke's on me. The Universe has been trying to teach me patience ever since.
In the 8 years that I have been serious about my journey, the one thing I know for sure is that it takes time. While there may be tiny spurts along the way, deep and lasting growth is like the cherry tree in my backyard: it's taking way longer to get established and bear fruit than the garden store promised.
The trick, I have found, is to stop looking for growth or success. Unlike the saying, a watched pot will indeed boil but it will not be a pleasant process waiting for it to do so. May as well set the pot to boil and go clean the kitchen (lol, just kidding...go stand in the pantry and eat chocolate chips).
When you are trying to fall asleep, if you focus on sleeping ("I MUST fall asleep right now!") you will certainly not fall asleep. Sleep comes only when you stop trying to sleep.
When you are trying to learn a skill (instrument, sport, craft), you will spend hours on the nitty gritty, but the skill will only flow from you when you stop trying to be perfect.
When I was trying to learn how to get in touch with my intuition, I focused so intensely every day I must have sprained my third eye. Intuition only clicked into place when I "gave up" and stopped grasping.
There is plenty of ancient knowledge to support this idea. A poignant piece comes from the Bhagavad Gita: "You have the right to work, but for the work's sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working."
No matter what your personal journey is - yoga, meditation, energy work, etc. - simply do your "work". Get up every day and practice. Be part of your practice, fully engaged. Be inquisitive about your practice. Find joy. Be immersed in your practice and don't even worry about the rest.
The pot will boil on its own, just as our growth will indeed happen. We don't need to worry about that. The magical thing is, if you can convince yourself to let go of results, one day a difficult situation will arise, one that used to trigger you, and you will handle it with ease and grace. You won't even notice that you are doing it. Afterwards, you will have a little moment where you think, "I've never done that before. How was I able to do that?" And the answer will be your work. You put in the work for months or years (yes, years) and something has shifted. The truth is that it shifted a while ago but you are just noticing it. :)
This is Confirmation. It was the joyful practice that got you there, not the grasping for success or results. So keep going. That's all you have to do.
On my end, I still have a lot of work to do. I may as well do it joyfully. I'm not sure I am patient yet, but I'm willing to wait. (You can find me in the pantry with the chocolate chips.)