Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Slowing Down

Have you noticed how speeded up we all seem to be lately? Pulling into my gym parking lot this morning, you would have thought they had just announced “the first 20 to enter the front door this morning win a free trip to Europe!”

Why are we in such a hurry? How is it affecting our interactions with one another? With how we parent? Not to mention our physical and emotional well-being (pay attention to your physical sensations when you’re in the “chicken with its head cut off” mode ... usually your stomach, upper back or chest are screaming for you to move to the slow lane). And, it seems to me we’re moving even faster than we were a year ago (or maybe I’m imagining this!). I would attribute some of this to technology and how we now use email, cell phones and PDAs, etc. Most of my career coaching clients site the constant inability to “unplug.”

Twelve years ago I was introduced to a philosophy/approach which advocates Slowing Down. In fact, the coach I was working with who suggested I start to become aware of how how "present" I am in my day-to-day life, told me I would actually be more effective at work if I slowed down! (Check out Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Richard Carlson/Joseph Bailey to get a taste of the approach I was introduced to : http://www.amazon.com/Slowing-Down-Speed-Life-Peaceful/dp/0062514547.) At the time, I thought she was crazy.

Thank God (and the coach who helped me shift to begin balancing“being” with “doing”), that has changed. I have now developed an aversion, an actual distaste for living and working at breakneck speed. Sure I do it sometimes, but my body starts setting off very loud alarms that it goes against my natural rhythms and innate health.

What is the speed at which you’re living? Are you pummeling through life in a race car, moving along in a steady Chevrolet, zipping around on a Vespa, soaking up your surroundings on a horse and buggy or maybe you’re on foot? Is the speed at which you’re living your life working for you? How do you feel when you wake up each morning? When you go to bed at night? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

There has been a lot of press about adopting a Slow Food movement. I like it. But first, maybe we all need to start supporting a Slow Life movement. What do you think?


ahufford said...

You are so right about paying attention to this. I seem to always come back from a vacation dreading the resumption of the assault of activities/responsibilities. Sometimes I think if I lived out in a rural area that it would help, but I know that some people manage to live slower lives in big cities. I'm working on finding ways to do that. Thanks for the reminder!

Bernadette said...

Join in our Slow Family Movement! Carrie Contey and I are getting the word out there. Look for an article in June's Goodlife magazine on the topic. And we are speaking on Thursday night. Or come to one of our Slow Family Living Workshops. You can check out Carrie's blog for more info. www.earlyparenting.com We are definitely ready for this to be a part of family life.

Loved the gathering last night!