Good Health, Relationships, Enlightment—These Things Take Time
With all things there is a process.
In our modern society there is an expectation of instant satisfaction in nearly every aspect of our lives. We must remember that for many things, the process—the waiting—is part of the journey, part of the learning. It is the process that teaches us and it is the mechanism through which we experience growth.
Why do we try to fast-track good health, relationships and enlightenment?
As a practicing massage therapist and yoga instructor with a degree in kinesiology, people often ask me how I can help them make lifestyle changes that will allow them to achieve optimal health and wellness. Most often I will give them suggestions that will most definitely bring them results they are seeking. Unfortunately, however excited they might be when they first acquire this information, the enthusiasm quickly fades in the weeks to come as they begin to realize—this takes time. They shortly begin to lose focus, because they need something that will provide quicker, faster results—or ideally for them, instantaneous results.
They lose sight of how lifestyle changes are part of the journey and that there are many experiences to be had along the way—new foods that they may have never tried, maybe visiting a health food store for the first time, taking their first yoga class, honoring their body with self-care and creating a deeper connection with the energy of the food that they are consuming. Undoubtedly through these experiences they will connect with others making similar changes in their lives and those who have been on this path for decades. What seems at first like a decision for better physical health can serve as a catalyst that creates new relationships as they forge their way to new healthier versions of themselves in mind, body and spirit.
By giving up too soon on the journey, they miss out on an opportunity for growth at so many levels. The body is the temple for the soul, and as we journey forward toward mindful living, our food choices become an expression of our spirituality. When we opt for better food—food in its natural state, that has been produced ethically, with the least amount of detriment to the environment in which we live—food truly becomes an expression of our spiritual life. These are experiences that are not to be had with the latest fad diets or fat burning pills. The promises by the marketers of these quick fixes—often false promises—leave the individual in an endless cycle of start and stop wellness (and lack of wellness choices) and can lead to so much frustration.
This same concept can be applied to our relationships.
The idea of the journey being the path in which we are given the opportunity for growth can especially be found in the creating of lasting relationships. Yes, we may meet someone, “our love” and know instantly that he or she is “the one”, but the process still must happen. It is through the shared experiences—through laughter, tears, adventures, communication and even miscommunication, as it teaches us patience—that truly make the relationship strong and able to withstand the test of time. It is taking the time to get to know someone, your beloved, to the depth of their soul. There is no fast way to do that, it takes time, compassion, empathy, understanding and unconditional love. It is much like the polishing of a pearl, yet has results in something much more valuable than any physical jewel.
Let’s now bring our attention to spirituality
Although we all passed through to the New Year of 2012 without being destroyed by aliens, zombies, or any other predicted Armageddon scenario (whew!) that was so vividly depicted through word and video, the internet is still seems to be an unlimited source of predictions of doom. In addition, there are probably an equal amount of sources promising of salvation from this world, or likewise, fast-track methods to enlightenment. There are multiple buffets from which you can chose to hasten your evolutionary growth, but it is my personal opinion that your spiritual evolution requires much work, and time serves to ensure that your path toward enlightenment is rich with experiences, lessons and growth that prepares you for the higher levels of consciousness that you are seeking.
The path toward enlightenment is the most important path of your life. It is each step along this journey that deepens your connection to that which is Divine, Source, God, Universe or whatever descriptive word you chose. On this path we stumble—we are human. But isn’t it when we stumble that we learn our greatest lessons and experience the most growth?
And assuming that there are fast-tract methods to speed that path to enlightenment, what effects can that have on those who become energetically “open” and haven’t spent the time doing the work to enable them to process, react, and stay balanced and grounded while reaching for higher states of consciousness? We must climb each rung of the ladder—mindfully and deliberately.
Slow down. Breathe. Enjoy the journey.