When I get a chance to go take a yoga class at a new studio I often get the same kinds of questions afterwards. Things like “how long did it take you to be able to do handstands?’ Or “How long have you been practicing?”
And while these kinds of questions are flattering to me, they are not the most helpful or empowering questions that we can be asking. I’ll explain why in a few paragraphs.
Travel back a few days with me….
The other day when I was trying to talk myself into taking a walk. I was making all the normal excuses. “It’s too cold.” “It’s too long a walk”. I don’t feel like hustling about.” And then I realized something that I’m very aware of in my yoga practice, but don’t always apply to my “real” life.
IT DOESN’T MATTER how long it takes. It doesn’t matter how fast you go. All that matters is that you make progress (even if only a little bit) everyday towards your goals.
It dawned on me that even if I walked at a snail’s pace, so long as I walked my normal 3 mile route I was still going to get the same amount of exercise as I would have it I walked super fast. That is to say, I was still going to get great benefit from moving my body for 3 miles no matter how long it took me to walk those miles.
And isn’t this just the truth about everything in life?
So I strolled (instead of hustled) through my walk that day. I saw the variance in the stream’s current from place to place as I walked pass. I saw ducks peddling upstream and thought “that’s counter productive!” I saw birds flying overhead. And I felt (really felt and experienced) the sun shining on my face. I sang out loud and took deep breaths.
All things I would have missed if I had of hurriedly took my walk, just for the sake of fitting in some exercise.
Obviously we don’t’ just ask these kinds of comparison questions in the yoga studio. We all these dis-empowering questions anytime we want to achieve something.
We want to know how long it took for that other mom’s baby to sleep through the night because we desperately want to get some uninterrupted sleep ourselves. We want to know how long it took for that other mom to get her degree with small kids to manage. Or how long it took that other mom to build a successful biz.
We can’t help but compare ourselves to someone who we THINK has it better than us.
But the thing is, as we learn to turn more inward. As we learn to recognize and appreciate our own unique gifts and desires, then we find less and less reasons to compare our accomplishments to others.
And when we do make a comparison its one between our current self and the woman we were yesterday.
That’s the thing about yoga. When we commit to consistent and persistent action, on the mat and off the mat, we can’t help but reach our goals. It’s simply the inevitable consequence of our efforts.
So this week, I’m encouraging you (and me) to hustle LESS. To observe MORE. And to take your time and enjoy everything that you do.
Here’s to a time-less, comparison-less week Mama!
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