What If You Slow Yourself Down?

I have always been the kind to front load my life. There was no time to wait – I had to do it all ASAP. No wonder I felt burnt out and behind most of the time. Even if I did get almost everything done, it was hard to find any joy in it. All that came was the looming anxiety of what had to be accomplished next.

I’m trying a different approach now. This stress has primarily been of my own making. I didn’t have to load myself up with all those tasks at the same time. That was something I did because I felt lacking, uncomfortable in my own body. I didn’t feel safe and I thought that if I got everything “done”, eventually I would find comfort.

Well, that didn’t work. It doesn’t work, because you can’t outsource your safety. Now that I’ve built a more grounded foundation, I’m slowly retraining myself to go more slowly. Instead of moving to a new city, getting a job, finding an apartment, applying to yoga studios, joining a new gym, finishing all my creative projects, etc etc etc, all at once…. I’m taking my time. The old me would’ve felt exhausted and frustrated already, in the three weeks I’ve been here. I can’t maintain that kind of life anymore.

I’m noticing another gift in this intentional slowing. I am making more intuitive and mindful decisions because I’m not overloading myself. When I decided to focus solely on finding a suitable job, I did. I was present to how I felt and what called out to me, rather than making a choice from survival mode. Now I’m looking for a home, and I’m trusting that I can do the same. The right apartment will come along because I’m not wasting energy chasing what I don’t actually want. I am open and I know what I need.

It’s hard to retrain myself to do things differently. I feel almost guilty for not doing “more”. Old habit. On the other hand, my body and spirit are really enjoying this measured, deliberate pace. I’m starting to feel safe to go more slowly, because I’m seeing rewards immediately. That’s really encouraging.

I’d like you to ask yourself where you can slow down in your own life. The truth is, what has to get done will always get done eventually. We often put more pressure on ourselves than is actually necessary. We often believe that others expect more of us than they actually do – or give them the power to drain us instead of setting boundaries. Try dropping just one unimportant task a day. When you get comfortable with that, when you start to notice that it eases the burden, then start to shed more. Eventually you will get yourself into a flow and become more productive than ever. When you aren’t fragmenting your energy and attention amongst a million different things, you actually do more! Go figure.

You are safe to slow down. Breathe. Pay attention. Be in your body. Attend to your needs. You won’t be able to do anything if you are depleted and exhausted. You come first. Really. It’s time to live for yourself, because you are the most important priority of all. Sending you love.

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