There is more to life than increasing its speed. -Gandhi
Getting there is not the point.
I know, that is not how we have been trained. We have been trained to hurry; hurry through school, and hurry to get a job. Then, it’s on to more hurry. Get the house, get the family, get the money.
For what reason are we hurrying? Why do we believe that getting to the end of something quickly is the point when everything in nature, and life, points to a different way.
Take the universe as an example. We have learned that it is always expanding, never stopping to say “I made it!”
Never in a hurry. Not like us.
Have you ever driven down the street with a car on your bumper, trying to get you to go faster and faster so they can get where they are going sooner. Maybe you have been driving that car. Why, what’s the hurry?
What does the hurry up and get there state of mind cause? Stress.
We feel as if we have to control things, get things, make things right, put things in order, and then all will be well. Does that really work? We know it doesn’t, but still the hurry up habit is a hard one to break.
In one of the exercise classes I take, people pop down into a squat and back up again as if that will prove that they are doing it right. But, they aren’t. They are missing the whole reason for the exercise.
It’s how slow can you go down, and how slow can you rise with correct placement that accomplishes the purpose of the exercise. As in life, it’s how much attention and care brought to the moment that brings results.
In Taiji we learn that the movement never stops at the end of the step, but breathes and continues into the next with a constant flow.
It’s the same in dance. Watch a great dancer and you will see that although they pass through a movement, or pose, it’s never to get there and stay, but to build to it and continue into the next. Even in stillness there is an ongoing movement.
Without being slow and deliberate and present in every moment, we have no time to be aware of what we are thinking, how we are standing, or what is happening within.
We have no time to watch a flower bloom, and feel at one with it. We miss all the pleasures of living in order to get somewhere and be done with something.
The person in the car trying to get me to go faster was missing everything.
She was missing the new buds on the tree, the feel of the road without ice bumps from winter. She missed the hawk sitting on the tree branch. She missed the joy of driving and the freedom of movement.
She could have also missed the squirrel running across the road, or me stopping at a stop sign.
It is not getting to the end that counts. It is the process of enjoying life, reveling in, and creating beauty, enjoying companionship, appreciating nature, that is what we are here to do.
We can choose to live each day more like a work of art, find ways to help someone just for the joy of it, and notice the value of each moment.
Or we could keep on hurrying to get somewhere and miss the whole thing.
Next time you find yourself in a hurry, ask yourself why. That question could take some time to answer, don’t worry, there is no hurry to get to it.
Need a little musical help. Sing along! Go ahead, you know it!