Hasten slowly

“Hasten slowly and you will soon reach your destination.”  

—Milarepa, as found in Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron

But, how can we hasten slowly? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

And yet, it seems we do. All the good stuff comes out of hastening slowly.

  • A university degree: scribbling notes and typing assignments during caffeine-driven all-nighters . . . for four years
  • A thriving marriage: juggling careers and taking whirlwind vacations, chasing around after toddlers, paying down the mortgage . . . for decades
  • Children: pacing the floor during sleepless nights, car pooling to hockey games, gritting teeth at parent-teacher interviews, wanting everything to be perfect for them . . . for, well, forever
  • Published writing: handwriting first drafts, transcribing messy second drafts, editing, reading aloud, pacing, getting up in the middle of the night to change a word . . . for days, weeks, years

When rewards are slow coming, it is easy to get discouraged. Whether it is raising money for a good cause, learning a language, landing a recording contract, establishing the perfect garden, or mastering the “Moonlight Sonata” on piano, we must push on.

And if we stop typing, juggling, paying, pacing, gritting, planting, weeding, watering, playing, practising, reciting, conversing—if we stop hastening—then we never reach the goal.

Whatever your destination, hasten to it, and slowly you will arrive.

8 thoughts on “Hasten slowly

  1. marianbeaman

    This post really resonates with me, and have experienced most the milestones you’ve mentioned here.

    You are right about children–being a mother never ends. And you know I like Julia Cameron’s wisdom and used another quote from Finding Water last week. I don’t know how she got so darn smart, but I do know she did not have a trouble-free life. Thanks, Arlene!

    Reply
    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      Thanks, Marian. I’ve been thinking of re-reading The Artist’s Way again. But then I always remember that there’s that time in there where she recommends taking a break from reading, and that stops me! I guess I’m a reading addict. Maybe READING another one of her books is the way to go . . .

      Reply

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