Don’t Rush the Process

- -
Don’t Rush the Process

Our many-faceted selves love to contradict each other. One part of us is always striving towards that goal, dreaming about getting the promotion, having the perfect body, finally “making it”. We forget, though, just how fleeting success feels. When we finally get what we want, our euphoria lasts for a day, maybe a week, and then we’re right back where we started, chasing the next goal. Sometimes we push ourselves so hard that all we feel when we succeed is relief.

That’s because a larger part of us actually gets a lot more pleasure from the small steps we take toward a goal. Every little movement along the path brings joy in a way that reaching the end never will. In other words, it really is about the journey, not the destination.

When people take part in Lumi’s 40 Days to Personal Revolution programme, their names are written on a massive poster in the studio. Every day that they practice yoga, they get to put a sticker next to their name. If you have participated, or are participating, in 40 Days, you know the satisfaction of putting on that sticker. And while it feels amazing to finally see all 40 stickers on the board, there’s no denying it’s a satisfaction of a different kind, one that is in fact no greater than what came each day you showed up on your mat.

Of course, the journey is difficult. If you want to grow, to learn anything new, you have to be willing to fail a lot along the way. You have to know there will be days when you drag yourself onto your mat, when you drag yourself through your practice, when you feel lost. You have to trust that every day is making you stronger.

The first time I went to a 40 Days meeting, I felt incredibly awkward, certain I’d never be comfortable fully sharing my personal experiences. But I just kept showing up. I stumbled over my words, kept my thoughts to myself sometimes when I wished I hadn’t, but every week I let go just a little bit more.

Eventually, I did have the courage to stand up and speak. But I know I needed each slightly uncomfortable step to get there, and I know I have many more ahead. I even know that perhaps I will never “arrive”, that it will never feel entirely natural to express myself off the page. But I will continue to try, and to savour the journey.

There will always be that part of us that wants to be the best, to have it all, and it will always tempted by the shortcut. We will want to read that one book that will solve all our problems, to take that magic pill that will make all our dreams come true. But what would we do if they did?

We would still need to learn how to get through, and appreciate, each day in front of us. And that we can do only by committing ourselves to the process anew, every day.

As Shakespeare understood, “Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.”

Ellie Norton is a 2018 Lumi 200-hour Teacher Training graduate and a passionate yogi and writer.  You can read more of her reflections on her blog, What I Learned This Week.