Recently, a friend of mine posted a link to an organization she’d been working to co-create. The organization’s focus is to give back to those that so willingly gave to them, plain and simple. Aside from wanting to support a friend, the thing that got me to click on the website was an image of a t-shirt that said “Love the Process.” I sat and stared at the image of the t-shirt, knowing immediately that I wanted one, not for the apparent softness of the shirt, but because the phrase was ringing in my ears. Love the process, love the process, love the process…. First thought? “How inspiring! I clearly need to share this in yoga class.” (yes, that’s how yoga instructors think)
Well I still haven’t brought it up in yoga class, yet, let me tell you, it continues to bring itself up. I’ve lived with the phrase for about a week now and it sporadically runs through my mind. Love the process, love the process, love the process….. Finally I decided this was going nowhere but was meant to go somewhere. So I started to “inquire” (sound familiar yogis??), as to why this short, 3-word phrase was clinging to me. I asked myself a strain of questions:
1. Why do I like this phrase so much?
2. Why should we love the process?
That’s all the further I got. The importance of this phrase became so apparent, so quickly. If you think, just for a moment about your life, we are ALWAYS in process towards, or for, something. In and of itself, life is a process, it begins at birth and ends at death. Within all of those years, we are continuously going through processes. I speak of process here as actions, or continuous action, directed towards some end. For instance, we go through the process of learning language so that we can communicate with others, we go through a process to progress in jobs, we go through the dating “process” to find a mate, we work hard to buy a home…. it doesn’t stop until we physically stop. We spend more life in process towards something, then we do enjoying the short, well-deserved, hard earned, end.
A friend of mine also calls this space “the in-between.” She describes life and all it’s great events as dots on a line graph. The dots are only specks but the lines in-between take up so much!
I see new yoga students frequently get frustrated with where they are at in their yoga process. It most often occurs in one of their first classes when they are either next to someone who has been practicing for a while or they have come into their class with the mindset that yoga is easy. (Which, it isn’t, ok? Let’s just debunk that myth now). Anyways, it’s very clear at this point whether they are going to love the process or get caught in an idea that they will never achieve the end result (which is often stereotyped as super flexible, skinny, strong, lean, vegetarian, yada, yada… which is not yoga at all) The thing with yoga is that it takes work, just like anything else worth progressing in. It’s a process to get your mind working in line with your spirit, through the experience of connecting to your body. The exception with yoga, is that there is no end. It’s a mountain with no top. It is ONLY process. But when you choose to love the process, it’s amazing.
So, I’m gonna bring it home here….
Let me say again, we spend most of our lives in process. If you choose to not love the process- hate it, despise it, quit, or be ‘End’ focused, you are wasting valuable, loving, energetic life. If you quit, something else will come up that’s going to be challenging as well. The process always appears; Some good, some bad, some life changing, some very apparently unhealthy. Many processes we can end at our choosing, some we can’t. Choose your processes, whether you have actual choice in the matter or not. That’s your first choice to loving the process, is to choose it for yourself. Take it on. And continue to choose it until you love it more than the result it produces. In fact, rather than loving the process, love being in process. Of course, love the end result too, but don’t let it take away from all of the valuable time spent being in process. That’s where the good stuff happens.
I look forward to sharing in your process.