We live in a culture obsessed with being busy. I spent much of my 20’s battling one sickness after the next because I refused to slow down. I was busy to the max all the time because I felt like I had to keep up with our speed crazed culture. On a deeper level I felt that if I wasn’t busy then I wasn’t of value. Oh how misguided I was! When I came across In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré, I immediately thought, now this is a talk everyone I know needs to hear!
Looking back I see that I was operating from a deficit of self-love. Because I didn’t fully believe there was value in what I was doing I did a ton of it. All the time. I lived in a near constant state of needing approval from outside sources and to say it was exhausting would be an understatement.
I was depleted.
Thankfully I trusted my intuition enough to seek out yoga and meditation which I know saved my life. As I cultivated those practices I was led to new friends, teachers, and ways of taking care of myself that I didn’t think I would ever be able to turn into habits. And here’s the deal… it has taken me years to change and be where I am today. I didn’t learn to eat well in a week and I didn’t learn to love myself in 3 Easy Steps. It has taken courage, dedication, and more willingness than I could muster on my own. Much of my strength in the beginning came from supportive groups, yoga classes, and friends walking a similar path.
Living in a culture obsessed with being busy took such a huge toll on my life. Am I embarrassed by that? Today, no. Collective energy is powerful and seductive. It takes a high level of awareness to recognize when I get hooked into beliefs that no longer serve me, like the one about not being of value and therefore having to be super busy all the time. Or the one about my life not being meaningful because I am too wrapped up comparing myself to everyone else.
Today I have choices. I can jump on the busy train and rush around trying to get everything done as fast as possible, or I can slow down and as Carl says, connect with my inner tortoise. I’m so down with connecting with my inner tortoise right now. It isn’t always comfortable or easy for me as I tend to be a high vibe kind of person but I fully believe that for long term health, joy, and sanity this is the path.
To shake things up I decided to slow my roll on email this week. My work mantra: I don’t have to email everyone back right away. Yes, I know I run my own business and some people expect a speedy response, but it’s a personal choice. At the end of the day taking care of myself is number one and if that means not responding emails after 6 p.m. that is what it means. It’s my job to be fully present and available for my life and I cannot do that if I am ungrounded in my self-care.
Carl Honoré’s talks about how we are so caught up in how fast our lives move that we fail to recognize the toll it takes on our health. I know loads of young women with auto immune disorders, many of which stem from chronic exhaustion and stress. This makes me sad on one level but it’s also a great wake up call. If we can let go of being overly busy and expending all of our personal energy we can and will be healthier.
The longer I live the more I understand how precious life is. I want to make each moment count and to be honest I’m over being busy. I am so ready to let it go and make room for more creativity, steadiness, and ease. Of course I know that I have to hustle at times and there are project deadlines to work with, but I can still bring a slowness and peace into everything that I do. That is the practice. Are you willing to let go of being busy and slow down to enjoy the ride?
From my inner tortoise to yours,