The Things You Notice When You Slow Down

These days I have little choice but to move slowly. My recent past was very hurried and pressured. Like many people I rushed from activity to activity and place to place. It wasn’t until I had to slow down that I did. There are things you notice when you slow down. This is of significant value for therapists, as we need to be very centered in the present in order to practice effectively.

I’ve never had difficulty being intentional and slowing down in my role as a therapist. However, the demands outside of therapy can be numerous. In therapy, if you’re an experienced therapist, it is easy to determine what is most important. What requires one’s attention in the moment. Therapists recognize that slowing down and being present is more valuable than moving fast and missing opportunities for growth. In life, we can lose sight of that. Everything can seem urgent and important. But the truth is there is a full range on the scale of urgent and important.

What truly is urgent and important?

  1. Breathing– it all starts with the breath. If you can’t breathe, you can’t live. Slow down and notice whether or not you can take a deep breathe.
  2. Resting- not to be mistaken with sleep. Slowing down and resting may mean light engagement in something that renews you. It could be sitting still. It could be meditation. Allow the mind to slow down.
  3. Sleeping- I used to think sleep was interrupting my life. The truth is…sleep is life. It affirms and feeds life throughout the day. When you are under-slept, each day is a struggle. Difficulty sleeping is at the heart of numerous health problems, and not just depression etc… Slow down and take the time to consult with a sleep specialist if you are not sleeping.
  4. Eating- food is fuel. Food is medicine. Food can be a source of contention and debate. It can be a source of shame and involve fears of scarcity. Slowing down when you consume food can be experienced as a luxury. Access to healthy food is most definitely a privilege.
  5. Laughing- laughter is medicine. Laughter feeds the soul. Laughter is a reclamation of the divine “I am.” I am here. I am alive and I am getting the most out of this moment and this exchange. Laughter is an expression of joy.
  6. Loving– sometimes people show more love and consideration for strangers than to those closest to them. Love is attentive. When we love, we are thoughtful and engaging or at least open to engagement.
  7. Connecting- is urgent and important. When we are frustrated with others, or ourselves, or with the world…the tendency is to withdraw and isolate. We want others to go away or we will go away. Connection is key. Slow down and connect.

If we can slow down and notice how we are doing and how others we are responsible for are doing/being in those areas, we will be engaged in what matters most. We will know what is urgent and important. We will:

  1. Breathe or notice when we are not or cannot
  2. Rest or notice when we are not or cannot
  3. Sleep, eat, laugh, love and connect. We will notice when we cannot or are not and we can take that seriously. Because all of those experiences are urgent and important.

Copyright © 2019 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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