"Rome wasn't built in a day."
I grew up on that proverb. My mother would say it any time progress toward a desired goal met an obstacle. I learned to have patience and a philosophical attitude toward life, and to value processes as much as achievements.
And now, someone HAS built Rome in a day. Read the story here.
How did she do it?
- She got a friend to help her. Projects are much less daunting when you're not alone.
- She scaled down "the ideal." It looks like her Rome fits on a table top, and she used paper and wood.
- She approached it as play, with curiosity. She didn't know how it would turn out.
- She lowered her standards. She created something that pleased herself. She's apparently not too worried about what anyone else thinks of it.
- The teacher or practitioner is not in the role of "therapist," but rather more like a tour guide. I'm there to help, to witness, and to acknowledge. I've got a map, and I know the landmarks of your experience. There's much you can do for yourself with this type of assistance.
- By "scaling down the ideal," the task, whatever it is, becomes more manageable. Remove your pre-conditions and pre-judgments, and see what happens. Many small steps lead surely to your goal. Celebrate each one. For example: you don't have to redesign your entire filing system TODAY. Spend 5 minutes trashing the junk mail. Want to keep something? Find, or make a file folder and file it. You've made progress.
- Get curious and "muck about." Experiment and explore. You will find unexpected resources as you go. You'll discover how creative you are.
- By "lowering your standards," you make space for change to begin. If everything has to be perfect, or nothing -- frequently you are left with nothing. Action stalls out under the judgement of perfection, and always comes up short. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. After you have begun, you have surmounted the biggest obstacle. Improvement is inevitable.