"There is no expected pace for inner learning."
This Mark Nepo quote, from his Book of Awakening, reminds me that I am right on time, in all areas of my life.
How often do you feel that you are not matching up to some timeline?
Do you compare yourself to other people around your age and feel they are ‘farther along’ than you?
Where do these timelines come from? How and where do you see them playing out in your life?
The principle that Mark Nepo touches on - that there is no expected pace or 'should be' timeline for any one of us - applies to our relationship with ourselves and our own personal development and growth.
We will continue to experience similar situations and patterns until we see the lesson that it is there to teach us. Then, the next step is to embrace that lesson, embody it's teachings, and move forward with intention and action honoring that lesson instead of simply forgetting about it.
This principle also applies to the timelines of what looks more like outer growth or progress, such as getting married, having kids, getting promoted, moving into your dream house, or anything that society has named to be progress along the timeline of adulthood.
For some people, these milestones are part of their dreams, for others, they are not. Both are valid. Some people move into these stages earlier or later than others; while other people feel pressure about never getting to these stages when, really, it's not even what they really wanted in the first place.
What if we let go of what was expected of us, and connected with what we truly wanted?
What if we let go of any self- or societally-imposed timelines about what our life will look like?
I was recently talking to a friend about this idea that we all seemed to have been sold that when we become adults, we will have it figured out.
What if adulthood was really just recognizing that there is no moment that arrives where you have it figured out and, instead, life is full of a string of phases that you move through on your own timeline.
Sometimes it looks like your parents’ or your best friend’s or your coworker’s timelines, and sometimes it looks wildly different.
There is no expected pace for any of us. Both in the inner and the outer journey.
Leave a comment below if you have struggled with this idea of having it all figured out before.
I invite you to let that idea go and embrace everything you’ve lived that’s shaped your past, the stage of life you are currently in, and all of the unknown, exciting possibilities that lie ahead of you in the future.
Until next time, grant yourself permission to be where you are.