Ahh…memories! I remember back into the late 1980’s when I was team teaching with another brilliant teacher, also named Liz. One of our mottos with our third graders was “Go slow to go fast”. When our students wanted to rush through their work, we would point to this motto on the wall, and it was enough said. This theme has been prevalent in my teaching philosophy, which maddened my supervisors at times. They all admitted this was best practice, and then the “but…” came down. This way of being has come back into my line of sight and way of being time and time again. Now…it is directly in my face! From billboards flashing the language to relax and take life easy, to consistency in readings I have completed for myself, to those in my spiritual circle…to my dear friends and community, the message is the same. SLOW DOWN!
Slowing down is teaching me some beautiful lessons. One, is that I have begun paying attention to my hands, and to my ability to smell. What you ask? Well, I learned this slowing down lesson as I was cleaning the house last week. I noticed how my hands were moving down the stair bannister, as the wood almond scent wafted up into my nostrils. My whole body was filled with sensory pleasure. Ooh…it was so cool! The top bannister is painted white, and I observed some brown streaks due to many hands using the bannister and many paws as well! Observing the paint brighten as my hands moved the cloth was a new thing. I slowed down. Simple as that. Then, using the lemon floor cleaner a bit later, I was again gifted with a clean scent, observing the mop and my feet when using the cloth on the stair landings. I immediately went into “Wax on, wax off” mode. It was so much fun! As I was engaged in this cleaning activity, these observations, when slowing down, allowed me to experience pleasure, as opposed to the mood of resentment I had experienced in my last cleaning session two weeks prior. I will say that this session was prefaced by choosing a different way to observe and be with the act of cleaning. And it worked! Slowing down allowed me to enjoy the sensory acts of cleaning, as well as the mulit-sensory aspects of being human. At the end of the session, I was rewarded with the gift of extra time because I slowed down, the flow was there, which allowed the cleaning to happen effortlessly, which led to more time to play afterwards.
Wow…I was gifted time because I slowly and methodically and mindfully engaged in this practice. Hmmm…now I have a new way of being! I will take this new flow of pleasure into cleaning from now on. Will there be times when I just want to get it done? Yes, certainly. Yet, I am also finding this new flow is rippling out into other activities, like cooking. There is no longer a clock watching in this mix. And…there is a new respect…an honoring of whom and/or what I am taking care of in the process. It feels really good to slow down to honor that which I am with in any given moment. Right now, I am being with my computer, creating language, with a relaxed and open body posture…enjoying the language type itself from my entire being, listening to music, sipping on my shake, which is nourishing my body, and the music soothing my soul. Ahh…slowing down is such a huge deal. Dancing through life with a slower pace of being does help me to go faster…yet time is moving faster, and I can now BE slower in its spiraling to the next greater wholes.
I leave you all with a couple of questions. Where in your life are you willing to observe an activity differently? Where are you willing to experiment with slowing down an activity for the sake of the enjoyment of it- pure and simple?
GO SLOW TO GO FAST…Hmmm…I will be with this way of observing for a bit more…and I’ll report back in. And you? Over to you!