Turtles. I’ve been finding them everywhere lately. I saved a painted turtle from being crushed by a car the other day, saw scores of snappers by the lake, came upon a wee baby one at the river shore. Every time I walk into a store, some turtle-y product stares back at me.
Turtle medicine has a lot to teach us about taking it one day at a time, being present, staying grounded. Chop wood, carry water.
There’s a whole lot of expectation these days about making things happen fast.
Fast food, fast businesses, fast production, fast weight lost, fast turn around time, text, email, instant instant instant.
I make my yoga students stop during asana, breathe, close their eyes, rest in the moment. I love the slow food, slow sex, slow life-style revolutions that are swirling about.
I also tend to have big plans, big ambitions, big ideas. And I’m from New York. Which means: I want it done YESTERDAY.
When I was 16 my plan was to have five books published by the age of 25. Perhaps I could have five books published. But I don’t; because I believe in putting out literature that will last more than a decade. That’s important to me. I bow down to craft.
But then there’s the nagging, maniacal ego that hunts me: Not soon enough. Not fast enough.
I often hear my gorgeous, sweet, ambitious friends say things like:
“I thought I would be farther along than this by now.”
Maybe you’re not like us, and you got this lesson a long time ago. Kudos to you. For me, it’s been a huge newsflash: Hey, guess what pumpkin. It’s ok if it’s not all done yesterday.
Cliché alert! Wait for it…It’s in the journey, not the destination, that we discover, ignite, explore, light up, learn.
I was watching a yoga documentary the other day and a wise woman said:
“The only thing that will ever transform you is practice.”
So, when I was sent this video by one of my yoga students last week, the point was driven home.
Does anyone else find that totally profound?
If you’re ambitious, if you’re hard on yourself, if you freak out because your comparing your growing online business, your poetry, your juggling practice to someone else who’s seemingly far ahead, just stop.
Love yourself enough to either:
A.) Learn from them or
B.) Turn back your attention to your own practice.
Stay present in your journey. Unwaveringly show up for your practice, whatever it is. Stay true to your course. Let go of the judgment, the expectation, the anticipated results. Breathe.
After all, nobody expects turtles to move like cheetahs.