This post comes with a warning.
WARNING: Slowing Down WILL NOT kill you.
For the last two weeks, I have felt like my days are like liquid molten. There has been a thickness and slowness to the intensity of time. Whether it is the hot weather or the time of the year, it feels like the world is hectically running around and around, but for me, time has become like the edge of the lava, that is just covering everything slowly, oh, so slowly.
Sometimes, it’s gradual advance forward feels suffocating, but sometimes, it feels like a whole new level of freedom and a new space in which to explore. It seems weird how my relationship to time, can make me feel the true breadth of a dichotomy. The closedness and the spaciousness.
The vast majority of this “slow time”, I have been on my own.
With this alone-ness and slowness comes a whole new level of listening to my own rhetoric, which I know I have written about earlier; but what I think is a super interesting thought that creates anxiety for me – is a feeling of fear that comes up around the concept of, if I slow down, will I just stop? And what happens, if I do stop? Will, I self implode? Will, I ever start again?!
So having now recognised this fearful belief, I started to get curious just about what happens when I think about expanding time out, what happens when I feel like I am stretching the elastic with no agenda of being anywhere else. Just how slow, can I go, but still feel a sense of aliveness, and joy, or a sense of purpose?
I’m happy to report, that as a slow down researcher, I can definitely report back that my life has NOT stopped, nor have I died. I haven’t self-combusted or slip through cracks or even really missed anything; but what does happen is that I have started to observe the parts of my life that I would maybe not have seen before in such obvious ways – the patterns, the cravings, the conditioning in my system, in my body, and in my thoughts.
It’s true, sometimes, it feels SUPER uncomfortable. It can feel like worms in my stomach or a headache that is pounding, or an urgent “DON’T push the button” feeling, knowing that I really WANT to push the button!. But now, I can at least recognise that it is the “Slowing Down” trigger that is making these sensations.
I am here to report, despite all the uncomfortable feelings, and anxieties that I know many people would be frightened to even think about, its OK. I’m still here. And my world is still here. And the people in it are still here. And all is good and I am safe.
And here is the next best thing, I have discovered in my slowness. When I do make my next moves, choices, and decisions, they seem to be more directly aligned, with who I actually am, and not just what I think would be accepted by the whirl-wind culture that would have otherwise been around me, if I was rushing through.
I have become my only little culture influence – created by one.
And in this culture of one. I can see, how much empathy there is, or how much collaboration there is or even how inclusiveness or exclusive it is. I see the light and the shadows. I see the connection and I see the disconnection. I see the things that inspire, and the things that depress. I feel the things that nurture or the things that deprive. I see the reactive and the proactive. They are all on display clearly indicating the greater path through the smoking lava that continues to move slowly around me.
And each day, I make more conscious decisions on how I want to be. I have more meaningful interactions, I have the capacity to ask questions, and listen to answers and I slowly but surely I can break the patterns of my internal monologue, because I am actually consciously listening to it, as opposed to letting it rule my days.
I can hear, the ‘its OK, you are good” and I can hear “the fear” and I can feel “the triggers”, and I can also hear, feel, taste, touch and experience the pleasures in the smaller and smaller things.
I feel grateful more.
And I recognise, that no matter how slow I go, my experience of life will only ever be as meaningful as the emphasis that I place on the very next breath that I take. If I rush it or ignore it, it means nothing. If I live within it, if I notice the inhale and exhale, then I feel the nourishment of it all.
So with the next breathe, I choose to slow down more – for slowing down will never kill me and I am comforted by the fact that no matter how slow I go, I will not stop until my last breath does.
P.S – Other side effects from the slow down lifestyle include – MANY compliments eg “You look great”, I eat better, I sleep well, I move freely and for fun every day, I meditate, I write, I read, I research, I learn, I feel and I am more creative, I listen to new and different music, and I spend more time outside. Which generally just means I am all round healthier individual.
Give yourself, the best gift this Christmas – the stretching of time.
Slow down, everything will be ok.