I started doing yoga about 7 months ago. I'd done it in the past on and off, but these 7 months have been my only true pursuit, full of perseverance, dedication and consistency. I'm constantly astonished at the progress I've made, the peace it's brought to my mind, and the space I've created in my formerly aching body. Still, I've found one thing to be very, very true throughout the process and that is this: no progress is a complete or final movement.
In other words, I may find that one day a pose comes to me in a way in never had before. Suddenly I feel weightless in crow pose or maybe I was able to drop in to a meditation without hesitation. Then, the very next day without warning, jarring and completely dishearteningly, I'll fight my thoughts during the entire meditation, or find that I struggle to hold onto that crow or never manage to even get my toes off the ground.
I find that pattern to be exhausting, but also the thing that compels me to continue my practice in many ways. It's the mystery, the prize just beyond my reach, and it's enough to draw me back to the mat day in and day out.
Lately I'm finding that this cycle of tiny victories and subsequent defeats is very present in painting as well. It's easy to grab on to a bit of momentum in this creation process -- someone wants to buy a painting, you create a piece you love and it felt easy, your art is featured somewhere, more followers.
But of course, these things are never the complete or final movement.
There is no quick way to win, no ticket to completion, no practice that is ever finished.
Believing otherwise, waiting for our lucky break, hoping someone or something will magically make us the master we'd like to be is precious, limited energy being wasted. The secret is there is no secret, as you know. Nothing we achieve will ever be our completed progress because there will always be more and the target is moving, and that's why we're drawn to it.
The only guarantee is the work -- the constant, gloriously defeating and compelling work of coming back to the mat, back to the easel. Every day.