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I’ve been thinking about turtles. This week, my kids and their cousins found a baby one meandering in the grass near a pond. Hard exterior, soft and cute on the inside. We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare—well in this case it’s a turtle and it can teach us a thing or two.

Now I am no poster child for slow and steady. My second grade teacher would utter, “Haste makes waste” to me on a weekly basis. In fact, I came out of the womb fast and furious. No slow and steady for me. While moving at warp speed seems to have served me well over the years (give or take several half-assed mistakes), slow and steady has become much more appealing to me these days.

Why is that? I’ve come to realize that much of what I want (and need) doesn’t happen immediately. Personal growth, for example, takes time and requires commitment. There are no overnight sensations or immediate fixes.

The “We want to change and we want it now” mentality burns us out and can be defeating. In fact, making the assumption that transformation is dropped on our doorstep in a cute little package the minute we ask for it sets ourselves up for frustration and disappointment.

Remember the turtle? The good news is we have a tough exterior that offers us a place of protection. When we decide to change, rather than speeding up and running to the finish line, we must slow down and straighten our shell. Underneath is a place of calmness and peace. A home of solitude and truth. At first this may not be easy or comfortable as it requires us to swim in the unfamiliar waters of patience and longevity. But over time, we begin to see the wisdom in the turtle’s ways—moving forward with endurance and simple acceptance of all that we are and all that is in the Universe.

Carly Hamilton-Jones