Slow Down

slow-down1There was a moment a few weeks ago when I came very close to standing in the middle of the office and yelling “SLOW DOWN!”

I didn’t. Because branch directors aren’t supposed to have temper tantrums.

But you can bet I thought it. I thought it as loud as I could. I thought it in the direction of my staff, and my boss, and her boss, and her bosses’ boss…

Because seriously, people. It’s not all urgent. Some of it may not even be all that important.

Of course, I’m a fine one to talk– the self-confessed queen of the “to do” list. But I’m learning.

Slowly.

(See what I did there?)

It took a few weeks of quietly beating myself up to finally stop feeling guilty for taking an unplanned hiatus from this blog while I was busy teaching a course. But I’m over that now. The guilt, that is. The course has one more class session and a lot of papers to mark.

I’ll be busy for a while. Truthfully, I’ll always be busy. In my family we’re wired for busy. But I’m gradually learning to be more selective about my busy-ness. I’m learning, for example, that I can actually say no to things that other people expect me to do. (And actually, Thanksgiving went very nicely even without me producing a turkey and a gazillion home-made pies.)

I went to a restorative yoga class last week. I haven’t done yoga of any kind for years decades. It was amazing. There was a moment, about an hour into the 90 minute class, when the whirring in my head stilled completely. Then, when the instructor directed us to gradually come out of the pose, a little voice in my head came out of nowhere and silently screamed “NOOOOOOO–I don’t ever want to leave this state of relaxation.” I’m going back to Yoga North today to sign up for more classes.

The first thing I noticed after last week’s yoga session was how much more energy I had. I came home from yoga and launched into a handful of minor home repairs that I had been avoiding for weeks because I was “too busy” to do them. They took mere minutes. In other words, I always did have the time to do them, but my mind was too busy to know that.

Ironically, I’m more productive when I slow down. But the secret is not to slow down with the goal of being more productive, because that won’t stop the brain from spinning. You have to slow down with the goal of slowing down.

If nothing else, try slowing down for just the 19 minutes it takes to listen to Carl Honore’s TED talk.

 

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About Muddy River Muse

Writer. Reader Educator. Manager. Mother. Dreamer. And dedicated riverbank walker.
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6 Responses to Slow Down

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Lovely to find a post from you again – I’ve missed your musings 🙂 You are so right about slowing down – I’ve been trying to do something similar. I seem to need a three day run (or rather crawl) before I switch to slowness though – which means it constantly feels just out of reach! Liz x

  2. Possibly I would say the same….. I would love to experience it… Also starting kungfu class by next weekend.. Sure to have a nice time.. Specially during meditation

  3. Lenore says:

    Anna….. my soul felt a large void and I was wondering why. So nice to enjoy this post and its reminders.

  4. You are so right about slowing down. After the last couple of months getting ready for art shows, I had accumulated a formidable list of projects that needed to be done. I fretted over them, until I finally told myself that it was not necessary to get them all done in a day or even a week. Now I am settled into a nice slow rhythm of going through the list and selecting one project at a time. It feels good to cross them off the list, but I am content to not let the list be the “boss.”

  5. flumsybess says:

    Sooo happy to find you again!

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