Slowing Down (Part 1)09 / 18 / 2016
“Cindy, your assignment this week is to slow the fuck down. Walk slower, talk slower, eat slower, text slower, dance slower. Write down what you notice.”
I giggled as my coach explained my assignment. I knew that I needed this. I was rushing from one experience to the next, constantly in a state of anxiety under the guise of a calm, cool demeanor.
“How was your week, Cindy?” I can’t remember. It was all a blur.
“What was your proudest accomplishment this year, Cindy?” Uhhh.. I don’t know.. Wait.. You mean to tell me I accomplished things this year? I feel like I’m not moving fast enough!!! I haven’t reached my dreams yet!!
Anxious and cranky.. Yep, slowing down was in order.
I dived into this assignment with a slow walk around the park. Painfully slow. Suuuuper uncomfortable. And then I began to relax and take in my surroundings.
Oh wow.. would you look at that.. the leaves on the trees are rustling as they’re blown about by the wind. Oh wow.. there are beautiful roses planted throughout this park – and they’re my favorite color! Oh wow… The leaves/flowers on this particular tree smell divine! Wait – How did I miss all this?!? What else am I missing out on?!?
I started to tear up as I realized that I was shutting out a beautiful world of simple pleasures and fascinating observations because rushing and anxiety were my default setting.
As I continued to walk slooooowly, I could feel a sense of pain (maybe even trauma) just bubbling up below the surface, wanting to be released. I was reminded of when I first started “speed-walking” .. It was in middle school, after I exited the school bus.. The faster I walked home, the less time I would be subjected to my classmates’ insults. There was safety and a modicum of control in my rushing.
Slowing down meant facing everything in my life head on – including the things I wanted to avoid. That’s why it made me so uncomfortable. But I kept walking sloooowly, and let the tears fall.. and it was tremendously healing.
As I started to incorporate that slowness into other areas of my life, I realized that I was actually getting more done. Funny how that works.. Rushing means blasting full speed ahead and making avoidable mistakes that later need to be corrected.. Slowing down is taking time to look at the overall picture and carefully planning the best course of action. Slowing down is actually more efficient.
So that’s where I am right now.. I’m continuing to give myself permission to slow down and enjoy the ride in every area of my life. I’m taking the pressure, anxiety, struggle, grind out of my experience… Replacing it with ease, pleasure, and fun.. I’m rejecting the notion that I earn success by staying stressed out.
So what does this mean for my album project? So glad you asked! The answer to that question lies in another story I’ll share with you next week. Until then, take care and slow down! ☺️
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