It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.
Like many people, I can get swept up in the promise and excitement of the New Year as a time to make resolutions to be a more perfect and productive person. As I was putting together my resolutions for the year I also poked around the internet to see what the latest was on hacks for self-discipline, productivity, and the like. Much of what is out there sounds true and panders to our desire to believe in the myth of perfection. But on a deep level does not ring true with who I am or how I experience life.
As a writer of a public newsletter I feel a desire to be hopeful and inspiring, and as a sworn enemy to bullshit I feel an equal need to be honest. Thus, rather than talking about how to do more in less time I thought it might be worth reflecting on the value of doing less in more time. In other words, turtle power.
The turtle is one of the most important animals in Chinese mythology and is associated with longevity, health, power and tenacity. It is variously represented as carrying the world on its back, as the mysterious warrior of the North and Winter, and as the bearer of Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion. Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare also speaks to the value of ignoring the hype of speed and trusting your own slow and steady pace.
Over the past year, I accomplished some of my goals, failed to complete others, and took advantage of opportunities that I couldn’t have predicted. Despite my resolutions and intentions, I assume this year will be similar. By tapping into turtle power, I can drop the disappointment that comes with fixed expectation, develop patience, and trust the process of my life unfolding to take me where I need to go. I can enjoy slowing down and stillness.
A few updates:
The Cure For Bullshit podcast is now live and available at its own website as well as Apple Podcasts and Spotify
The International Neuropalliative Care Society (INPCS) just completed an awesome online meeting and will be hosting its first in person meeting September 12-15 in Minneapolis. If you are interested in person and family-centered care and advocacy, please consider joining.
As always, if you’d like to support this work, please share my writing, website and podcast with friends and strangers. I hope things are going well in your world and may the power of the turtle be with you in 2023.
Image from David Dilbert photography