“Speed is sublime, and slowness majestic”
I am Mrs. “speedy Gonzalez”, with me, it is “arriva arriva, vamos vamos”. I can excuse myself by saying that it’s my Latin American side, that it’s because of my life experiences where I had to go from one place to another quickly, or my professional experience where I have to multitask and be ready for “deadlines”. Not only that, but I can even say that it is because of my entrepreneurial side that forces me to go fast to survive, or my coach side where I have to show results. But all of these are just wonderful excuses for not accepting that “slowness” is a state (mental, physical, psychological, and I’ll even say emotional) that implies a presence, a “being”, that I can’t have all the time.
It is not easy either to accept that slowness is a mechanism of life, contrary to the speed of our days that is a mechanism of survival. Fortunately, I manage to have moments of slowness in my life: when I do Shiring-Yoku (drill bath), when I fold my clothes with my hands, when I meditate, when I am with someone in a moment of sharing. However, I often have to face this urge to go faster, to take (necessary) steps, and get to the end as soon as possible.
I often hear: “I’ve been fixing it for months, and it’s still so messy” or “I’ve been waiting for days for a change, and it’s not happening”. I am also often asked to kick the person to get going faster, and how I avoid doing that because I don’t want the person to burn out, often makes for speedy reactions filled with frustration. And I understand because it’s the shoemaker who is the worst shod, isn’t it?
Personally, I often despair at the slowness of things, and I often want to move the shoes as fast as possible without taking into account the “momentum”, without thinking about this momentum that inevitably arrives, not when we want it, but when we have lived all the necessary steps for the learning experience we are living. What often helps me to (re)see the magic in slowness is to make these small gestures:
- Take a long, long breath, followed by a sigh (a very long, slow sigh).
- Filling those moments with longing for speed with simple things. For example, looking for small details, focusing on car colors for example when traffic is not moving. Noticing through the windows if the cars are clean ! (Yes, I know it is a professional tic that makes me laugh) Or looking at the little smile hidden in people’s faces, look for their beauty and attractive side.
- Walk, eat, see, …. Slowly, very, very slowly. Consciously of slowing down my pace, or to the point that even the slowest people will be bothered by my slowness.
- Imagine me as “flash” the sloth in the Zootopia movie. I love that scene!. I invite you to watch here: (https://youtu.be/Aeij-oc-18s)
- Looking for the magic of each moment, the happiness in the tiny things, in the small moments of life, helps my whole system to slow down without having to force myself. That’s what we call today, living at the moment.
Just like the song from the movie Zootopie, “try everything”, says: “… Why to run so fast, no matter what the rankings are, if you do your best…”. So let’s leave room for slowness in our life to take advantage of its magnificence.