Two steps forward, one step back

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If you have ever tried to accomplish something in your life, you have probably experienced days when it seems like nothing goes right. In fact, it may seem like all the progress you have carefully made is being unraveled right before your eyes. On such days, it might even feel like you are moving backward instead of forward, and all the hard-earned progress that you have put sweat and tears into simply begins to disappear. Days like that can be frustrating and discouraging. They can make us question our goals, our path, and even our ability to succeed.

Our perceptions, though, do not always accurately reflect reality. I call this experience of a seeming breakdown the “spiral effect.” Imagine you are moving along a spiral. You move in a circular pattern, and even though you are repeating the same circular motion over and over, you know that you are continually moving in the desired direction (higher or lower, inward or outward). But that’s what happens in a three-dimensional reality.

Now, let’s look at it in a linear, two-dimensional way. If you only look at the green and red arrows (in the picture) that point out the movement along the spiral, you will see that they seem to be pointing in the opposite directions. This is because in two dimensions, going along the spiral looks like moving forward and then stepping back.

This motion of drawing forward and pulling back is a natural rhythm of progress. It is not a sign of failure and not a reason for despair. It is akin to the ebb and flow of the oceans. It is the breath of creation. What makes this process difficult for us to accept is that we are usually impatient to achieve our outcomes and are not really attuned to the ebb and flow of life. We often don’t even realize that we are part of a greater life system, and the outcomes in this system are affected by everything from the positioning of the celestial bodies around the Earth, the level of consciousness of people around us, to the physical location and condition of our environment, the free will and circumstances of the people that may be involved in our outcome, and finally, to our own free will, our level of consciousness, and our internal clarity about our intentions.

Understanding that we do not exist in a vacuum can help us accept that our progress is likely to be influenced by factors that may go beyond our personal control. Therefore, experiencing the forward and backward motion of creation is all part of progress. It is not the daily ups and downs of our progress that should drive us toward our goals; it is our commitment to the final outcome no matter when we reach it. So focus on what you want to create, feel as though it’s already there, and now keep going – two steps forward, and at times one step back.

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