Slow Down to Speed Up

keep focused on the horizon

                 “Have you ever been forced into a situation where you had to slow down to speed up?  It kind of feels like you are watching a merry-go-round, you know, those pretty little colored ponies, all decorated to the mint, in candy-colors and bows, just waiting for children and adults to jump on them after carefully making the perfect selection.  How long since you have seen a merry-go-round? Or, better yet, how long since you have been on one? Did you find the prefect horse to sit on or did you play it safe and sit on one of the café-style benches?  Do you remember how the operator of the ride slowed down the system and stopped it so you could get on, before speeding it back up again? Sure you do. Well, that is how my life has been for the past eight days. I’ve had to slow down to speed up’’

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.

                I faced an incident that set me back a few days and although it was major in detail, it was nothing compared with what many of my friends have dealt with recently. I answer the phone all day long in my job as a Lifestyle Coach, set appointments, and help people deal with their stuff and get real so they can get happy. Hearing someone else get happy after lots of work on their part and knowing they have made a major breakthrough, makes me extremely happy, too. But this past year was different. The end of 2012 was difficult for so many people and for us as a society here in the United States. Perhaps it was difficult abroad also, but I did not travel out of the Country after fifth of December, so I am unaware of the feelings of others besides those here in the U.S.

Nobody wanted to talk about it…the massacre of the Newtown children and teachers…after the Press and camera crews were done with it. This was not a good thing. In fact, it was bad. My own sister who lives near there on the East Coast and teaches kindergarten, had to deal with it in her school, plus she is raising her own eight-year-old granddaughter. Everyone was frightened, from parents, children, teachers, administrators, emergency personnel, and legislators.  Our society went crazy for a little bit and was in a state of frenzy. We were all running around, instead of slowing down to just B-E.

I found myself time and time again returning to my favorite place of comfort in my home. I have a quiet place in my home office that is my Zen Zone. It is a black rug, with cushy, comfy coral, pink, and red pillows.  What can you do to instantly slow down and find your place of Zen to just B-E? Here are three quick steps:

1). Whether you are at work or at home, seclude a quiet place and make this your ‘’retreat.’’ Let everyone else near you know that you are not to be bothered when you are in your special place just B-E-I-N-G.

2). Light candles, have special rocks to rub, a small fountain you can turn on, or other soothing options in or around your ‘’Zone’’ or ‘’Retreat.’’ I love the smell of candles and have never worked anywhere, whether it is in my home or in a regular office, without having them lit. Additionally, you can have reed diffusers or packaged fragrances in the room to achieve the aromas you want or need for a calming effect.

3). Write. Use a pretty journal or even just keep a spiral notebook handy for when you need to slow down and feel like writing. Some people love to use their computer to keep an online journal. For my clients who say they keep an online journal, I actually ask them to share that with me. I don’t read the words, but often, I have found clients are just using social media as a method of escaping, instead of writing their feelings or thoughts down.

 

                As we were all trying to go back to what was ‘normal’ some families were working on what their new normal would be for the rest of their lives. I had eight, yes eight, friends who lost a family member in a two-week period during the end of December. While many were singing ‘’Fa la la’’ those friends were grieving and trying to cope with what would be a new 2013. Grieving is different for every single person and knows no time. Time stands still when there is a tragedy or loss. One must slow down.

                So the next time you are inclined to stomp on the gas pedal in your car, slow down and see who is on the road next to you. You may have to speed up to catch the love of your life as he speeds by in the car two lanes ahead of you. Slow down so you can miss that flight to Paris, only to be put on a train once landed in Germany for Prague, where once again you will speed up and meet a lifelong friend who just happens to be on that train with you. None of it would have worked out unless you had slowed down. Slow down, before you miss out on your life. I have, and you really should try it also. When you slow down, then you can speed up where you need to, instead of rushing through all of life and forgetting to savor those special little pony rides. We are all creating moments to be cherished. This life is amazing and grand.

 

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