“The Race is not always to the swift”
Helping compassionate spirit teachers often use metaphor as a way to communicate with us. You can learn to receive such messages and teachings by learning to journey.
Different stages in life require a different rhythm. Sometimes the rhythm we are most used to does not serve us in the long run. I have had several meaningful lessons over the years about slowing down and approaching life in a methodical and unhurried manner, paying mindful attention to what is in front of me. For the past number of years, Aesop’s fable The Hare and the Tortoise has been a metaphor running or should I say ambling through my life. https://fablesofaesop.com/the-hare-and-the-tortoise.html In the fable the Hare is taunting the Tortoise for being so slow and the Tortoise in return challenges the Hare to a race. The Hare is amused and feels that his victory is assured. This fable was used by a teacher in the spirit world during a shamanic journey, to help explain in metaphor, what was going on in my life. I felt as though my seemingly slow pace was getting me nowhere. I watched others kick it into high gear and set off to accomplish tasks faster, and it appeared, with more ease. I felt as though I had potentially allowed an opportunity to pass me by.
To be the Tortoise seems contrary to my nature. I am someone who rarely sits still and has a history of creative pursuits, where you work at full creative speed towards a goal and then fizzle out at the end of the endeavor. What is my attachment to the all-encompassing effort just to collapse in a heap at some point, wondering where my energy has gone? As a society, we seem to measure ourselves by our hard work and endless productivity. We have become uncomfortable with doing anything less.
In my life, I have a number of responsibilities that include children, dependent adults, and elderly parent care. The reality is to find room for my work and well-being, in addition to my responsibilities, I have to maintain a steady pace otherwise I will burn out. My relationship with this fable has been evolving for several years now and my understanding of how to work well at a slower, steady pace, without self-criticism has grown. I would like to point out that at no time in the fable did the Tortoise chastise himself for being slow! I would argue that he enjoyed the race taking in the scene ahead of him with an appreciative eye. My experience has shown me that when we push hard on obstacles we often meet with resistance and sometimes do ourselves a disservice. In the Fable the Hare takes a nap and the Tortoise slowly passes the Hare to win the race.
Everything in it’s time and this blog post is a perfect example as it has sat half written for about 8 months now and it was not until a journey circle meeting the other day that I knew what direction or why the timing was right to share it now. In my journey circle, a couple of the participants were talking about how slowly they were approaching their goals of more formally offering their healing skills to a wider audience. They questioned why it was taking so long, were they less committed, perhaps insecure about their practice? When we honour the pace that we are instinctively taking, we are in the natural flow of creation and in harmony with our goals. The race is not always to the swift.