“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”
― Lily Tomlin
We live in a time where instant gratification and ‘results now’ is the refrain, where ‘hacks’ and the ‘fast wins’ are often the approach we take with our health, wellbeing and experience of life.
While quick results are not inherently wrong, it is important to take time to honour the ‘slow grow’ choices too. We can really benefit by letting go of expecting big dramatic changes in a short time frame and are usually better served working with small incremental changes that keep the big picture in mind.
This is important as big fast changes are often not achievable, particularly when we are looking at deeply ingrained movement, emotional or behavioural patterns. Big changes are also not sustainable long term, eventually growth slows down. The ‘beginners curve’ is a good example of this. When starting a new practice you can achieve some significant results while you are riding the beginner curve, but over time this growth plateaus out and change slows right down, which is where many people get frustrated and stop.
Keeping in mind (or in body) the ‘slow grow’ approach gives us perspective on our choices and helps us think about our actions over a longer period of time. It gives us opportunity to really drop into a practice, to deepen our connection to it, to notice if it does not align with what we actually want in our lives or whether it is something you really feel is worth your time and attention. The slow grow keeps us humble, human and tests our dedication but it is also immensely gratifying when we zoom our perspective out.
Slowing down also lets us hone the virtue of patience, of giving things time to bake, of being ok that effort over time is required. To stop grabbing at instant relief, instant gratification, instant satisfaction and be present with our commitment to ourselves. To be ok with just chipping away at something.
Here is a clip of me working through some of my resting squat practises.
Kinda looks like I have an ok resting squat here huh….well five years ago I most certainly did not. Five years ago I could not squat past 90 degrees without falling backwards.
My approach has been regular, little exposures. I worked at being in some variation of the position again and again and again. I worked the edge of my capacity (and patience) in small doses over and over. It took time. Progress was slow.
This ‘squat project’ will never be finished or ‘sorted’ for me but I want to have good hip health and hip mobility options for all my years. I want to squat next to my grandkids and play. So I will take my time, I will do the ‘slow grow’, I will continue to notice how things effect my experience of this position (like the surface I’m on, the weather, my energy, my mood, my hormonal cycle, inflammation levels etc.) and my practice and experience of my body will deepen as I go.
“Slow down. Life is crossing the road.”
― Debasish Mridha
Yours in slowness