Thursday, June 18, 2009

Slow Down - You Move Too Fast

I'm determined to live my life fully and consciously. But moving at Mach 1 speed in a nano-second world with all the superglut of information speeding along the sensory highway, I end up at day's end crashing with no recollection of anything that transpired.

I don't know where this comes from. It could be that I'm a Gemini and ruled by Mercury. Or it could be that I just do everthing fast. This fast pace may have its roots in being the eldest of four children busy with all the housework, cooking, shopping, bathing and clothing my siblings, then fitting in my own schoolwork and piano practice. Playing was never an option.

Recently, I was given an assignment by a mentor to stop doing and start being. I wasn't quite sure what that meant, but she proceeded to give me various slow-down tasks, using such words as leisure and relaxing and something she called fun. I zoned out until she insisted I drive 15 mph below the speed limit for a week. The following week I was to leave dishes in the sink and not race to clean anything. The next week I was not to make my bed and instead actually read a magazine from front to back slowly enjoying the entire magazine. Then the clincher: she said to get rid of my lists and do just one thing a day.

One thing a day? Get rid of my lists?

This was heresy. I hated it. But I did it. And I hated it.

On my own, I started to sit and read a daily affirmation booklet each morning which led to the practice of meditation and that really slowed me down. It not only slowed me down, I became more conscious and my day went by smoothly - with no rushing. There were also ancillary benefits. My blood pressure went down and I stopped using any medications.

Now that I'm not breaking any sound barriers, it's been a lot easier to navigate my world. I continue to slow down and say no to too much stuff, be it too many errands, too many complications, too much of too much. I no longer muscle my way into distractions or take hostages to fill up my day keeping the illusory boogeyman away. This does not mean I neglect myself or the things I need and want to do. It means that there is more time for the things I really want and need to do. Each beat of the day is filled not to capacity, but with equal measure. Life has become simple and quiet and beautifully orchestrated. The best part is that slowing down is portable. Wherever I go, slow motion gets me there faster.

Slow down you move too've got to make the morning last. Just skipping down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feelin' groovy.

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