Do things ever slow down?
I’ve got a little story for you. 2006 was one of the biggest years of my life.
It started out mellow enough with setting a few intentions here, voicing a goal or two there and by the end of it I’d bought a house, gotten married, and was a newly enrolled holistic nutrition student flying back and forth from Oakland to NYC to attend monthly classes.
I remember asking my boyfriend at the time, “When are things going to slow down?” “When we finalize the papers for the house,” he said.
When the sale closed and nothing had changed, I ask, “Really, when do you think things will slow?” “Once we’re married,” he said.
And after our honeymoon, when I didn’t feel any closer to calm I ask, “Do you think life will ever slow down or is this just the way it is now?” “Once you graduate things will ease up,” he said.
After graduation I opened my business. Not a mellow endeavor.
Soon after that my then husband quit his job to open an architecture firm. Also, not mellow.
And, of course, throughout it all I struggled with health issues that kept me on an endless hunt for what would heal me.
In other words, slowness was nowhere to be found.
And yet I have to be honest and say I didn’t really look for it. I wish I could say I put as much effort into my slowness as I put into my business or trying to fix my health. But I didn’t. I didn’t put any effort into it because, I thought it would just magically appear. I had this fantasy that in my most busy, most exhausted, most desperate moment, the Goddess of Slowness (stay with me here) would show up and say, “Jamie my dear, it’s time to rest. You don’t have to go so hard and be so tough. Here, take a breath and try it this way.” And then I’d drift off into a blissed out, zen state where Slowness would take care of me and make everything better.
Turns out, slowness is like everything else in our lives. If we want it, we have to consciously pursue it (or at least consciously make room for it). We have to intentionally put aside the time to reflect and replenish to be able to face each day with peace and clarity. In other words, slowness doesn’t just appear, we’ve gotta make it happen.
So if we supposedly want it so bad, why don’t we?
Many of us, myself included, have all kinds of resistance towards slowness. We believe we’re only as valuable as how busy we are. We think that slowness means we’re lazy, unproductive and not living up to our potential. We believe that taking our time lets life pass us by (and goodness knows we’re all FOMO sufferers).
And yet what I’ve seen in my own life and in the lives of my clients’ is that when we give ourselves moments of slowness, even if just for 5 minutes, we’re more present, more focused and have a renewed sense of joy, wonder, drive and purpose.
Basically, if we just slow down and sink into ourselves a little more, we become the people we say we want to be.
So this week, see where you can incorporate more slowness into your life. Perhaps slowness looks like meditating in the morning or walking around your neighborhood after work. Maybe it means putting the computer away at 8 pm and settling into a good book. Or perhaps, rather than rushing to relax, your version of slowness is simply taking a few deep breaths while washing the dishes or folding laundry.
I’d love to know what you’re doing to bring more slowness into your life. Email me and tell me all about it.
Have a wonderful week and lots of love,
P.S. If you’re dying for some much-needed slowness in the face of your frantic daily pace, join me for my day-long retreat Reconnect on May 21, 2016 (see below for details). I have a few spaces left and I’d love to have you join. Simply email me and we’ll get you in.
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