4 Inspiring Reasons to Embrace Slow Progress

4 Inspiring Reasons to Embrace Slow Progress

We all have deep desires to achieve — to strive for meaning. Whether we have personal goals we make for ourselves or altruistic goals that benefit others, most of us come to realize that the bigger the goal, the more challenging and longer it takes to reach it.

Excruciatingly slow progress can cause almost anyone to lose motivation. This may feel especially true as the excitement of the New Year wears off and the dreary winter days tend make every day feel sort of mundane and uneventful as we try to work toward what we set out to do on the 1st.

But slow progress is far more beneficial than instant results in a multitude of ways. Though it may be difficult to feel it right now despite knowing it on an intellectual level, if we keep reminding ourselves of why it's better to go slow, our subconscious minds will begin to embrace this truth and make it a part of our reality.

Slow Progress Means Presence

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Eddie Cantor

We can’t be fully here in this moment when we’re constantly obsessing over the progress we wish we could’ve made by now and possibly dabbling in negative self-talk for not getting there yet. We are all where we are supposed to be right now, and slowing things down to focus on the present allows us to ground ourselves back where we belong.

Slow and Steady Makes Habits Stick

“Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Long-term goal achievement is often the result of many, many days of doing the same thing over and over while becoming incrementally better at it. If we were rewarded with the achievement of our goal too soon, we likely wouldn’t know how to sustain it or even top that goal because we wouldn’t have developed the habits we need to ultimately keep it going.

Going Slow Offers Greater Opportunity for Growth

“Progress of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” — Samuel Smiles

The reason why slow progress is often the best progress is because it puts the focus on learning. As we embrace learning by taking things slow, we improve our chances of being able to handle potential obstacles and setbacks, which in turn helps us grow to become more resilient.

Greater Awareness Comes from Taking Things Slow

“Let thy step be slow and steady, that thou stumble not.” — Ieyasu Tokugawa

Though obstacles and setbacks are pretty much guaranteed in almost anyone’s journey toward a long-term goal, going slowly at least allows us to minimize them by giving us the time we need to expand our awareness and understand what’s really going on. If we rush through things too fast, we may end up missing something important that could cost us.

There’s no shame in progressing toward your big goals slowly. Embrace the journey, because you will undoubtedly gain invaluable inner strength by pressing on.

6 Powerful Ways to Strengthen Self-Love

6 Powerful Ways to Strengthen Self-Love

Self-love is central to yoga and meditation, but it’s not always easy to maintain, day in and day out — especially when things get tough! While establishing a regular practice is the first step we can all take to become more loving and compassionate towards ourselves, there are a few other little rituals we can work in our practice both on and off the mat to help give ourselves a little boost.

In fact, maybe you already do some of these already. Try picking one that you can turn toward when you're not feeling so good about yourself.

Protect your space

Choose a space in your home — ideally where you like to spend time — that you can use to practice self-love. This could be the place where you roll your yoga mat out for your practice, your favorite chair where you read, your bed, or even a private space outside if you can find one. Declare this a clutter-free and negativity-free zone by keeping it clean, decorating it with things that inspire you, and imagining it being filled with cleansing and loving white light when you spend time there.

Use aromatherapy

Did you know that there are certain essential oils that actually stimulate feelings of love and joy? Rose essential oil is considered to have the highest frequency of all oils, promoting a feeling of unconditional love. Ylang ylang essential oil can be used to help restore confidence while spruce essential oil helps with the release of emotional blocks to bring back a sense of balance. You may even want to choose a couple favorites that you can diffuse in your protected space.

Listen to music

Just like aromatherapy heals through scent, music does the same through sound. When practicing yoga, meditating, reading, or even just relaxing, try listening to classical or ambient music without any lyrics at a moderate volume. This will naturally help calm your mind and lift your spirit. Music that’s already familiar to you is also known to promote feelings of love and joy, so go ahead and press play on any of your favorite songs or albums in your music library.

Use mantras & affirmations

The words you say to yourself — even just in your head — are far more powerful than you might think. Having a few go-to mantras and affirmations like “I am strong,” or “the love of the Universe surrounds me,” can be enough to get your positive thoughts flowing again. Don't just do it once — keep repeating it as often as it takes to start feeling a difference. Tell yourself what you want to feel as if you’re feeling it already, and the Universe will make it happen.

Step into nature

Making a habit out of regularly going for a walk in a nearby park or on a trail is hugely beneficial for both your physical and mental health. A Stanford study found that people who walked in a natural area for 90 minutes experienced decreased activity in a part of the brain associated with depression when compared to people who walked for 90 minutes in an urban area. Getting out in any green space will help you naturally expand your awareness and feel the connection you have with Mother Nature.

Neutralize negativity

Self-love is an ongoing practice, and dealing with negative thoughts and emotions is just part of the journey. When those thoughts and emotions do pop up and make it harder to feel loving toward yourself, make sure you become mindful of them. You can neutralize those negative thoughts by using explorative self-talk that seeks to understand whether they’re true by questioning them. If you question yourself enough, you’ll likely realize that the negative thought you’re thinking or emotion you’re feeling isn’t actually true in nature — it only feels true in your head. This opens you up to begin making the shift toward more positive and loving self-talk.