Monday, April 27, 2009

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life

Have you ever heard the phrase we’re human beings, not human doings?

When I went in to wake up my little guy this morning, he was curled up tightly in a “comforter cocoon” sound asleep. I sat next to him in the dark and gently rubbed his back. I pushed his hair off his face and kissed his sweet chubby cheeks. He smiled. I let him know there was no rush, he could wake up slowly.

Thirty minutes later while he was eating breakfast, he told me how much he liked the way I woke him up (often times his sweet Dad goes in to get him and his style is a little different from mine). He said “We all need to slow down Mom, it’s better that way ...that’s how we’re supposed to live.”

I just got back from leading an amazing women’s retreat for 30 women from around the world, focused on self-care. And, we talked a lot about the power of slowing down. And how it can positively impact so many areas of our lives including: our connection to self and others, our ability to make wise decisions and of course, our well-being.

The pace at which we live is really dictated by our internal state of being.

And, more specifically, by our thoughts.

I often ask coaching clients do describe the quality of their thinking in a given moment—are their thoughts moving slowly, like a horse and buggy or an antique car in a parade, or are they whizzing by like a Lamborghini on a racetrack?

It’s not about being critical or judging how fast or slow our minds are moving, but just being aware of what’s going on up there.

Years ago, I started noticing a huge correlation between how fast my thoughts moved and how this affected my physical and emotional well-being. And how connected I felt to my child and partner.

Last week, while trying to juggle way too many balls, my stress levels hit an all-time high for 2009. And boy was my mind racing.

Thanks to this retreat and the opportunity to *pause*, I intend to approach my day, week and May, with more awareness about the speed at which I’m living (and thinking!).

My seven-year old nailed it ...we need to slow down, it’s better that way, it’s how we’re supposed to live.

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Photo: Renee Peterson Trudeau. The sandy, quiet banks of the Rio Grande river in the Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park.

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