Being with the slow

Slow.

Slowness.

I’m declaring it my theme of the day.

(Actually, my body declared it the theme looooooong before my brain and my heart caught up. Because of the slowness, you see.)

I wanted to start the day with: energy and enthusiasm!

I had such excitement in my heart last week at this time but I could tell last night, when I wrote another Very Personal Ad about how I wanted this week to go, I felt…off.

And then that feeling was still with me this morning. Sigh.

I could feel it in my joints and my skin. Slow body.

And then: slow commute. Slow brain.

Sigh.

(Slow sigh.)

So instead of resisting it, I’m saying hello to this place, which is deep, deep immersion in this pool of exquisite, unavoidable slowness. It can be wonderful, of course, to go slow and be slow, to know slowness deep in the bones.

But I’m saying hello to the difficult parts of it, too.

I’m saying hello to my resistance. Hello to the sighing and the wishing-it-were-different.

I’m noticing: it seems harder to feel supported when I have this very slow energy in my body. Harder to feel like all my careful entry and exit work is having an effect.

I’m noticing: I feel fearful of slow. Fear that whatever I accomplish, slowly, won’t be enough.

Slowness – even when it’s mindful – feels uncomfortably similar to non-mindful slowness. You know, that slumped-over zombie feeling when it’s hard to separate the feeling {slow} from the judgment {lazy, unmotivated, not trying hard enough}.

I know it’s a different, more aware kind of slowness today. But I still hear those echoes. It’s hard.

Slow is not alone…

Slow is more than just a speed. It has helper qualities. Cousins and acquaintances, if you will. Travel companions. Secret cheering squads.

I’m thinking about these friendly helper qualities in order to help invite slowness in, just a little bit more. Some of these qualities are obvious, some less so.

(With the caveat that of course, your own qualities of slowness may be vastly different. These are my personal helper qualities today, that’s all.)

The helper qualities of Slow

Care.

Go slow, take care. It’s easier when you go slow. Care with your body; care with your mind. With the objects and spaces around you. With your words and your actions.

Largeness.

This one took a big of unpacking before I could explain it to myself. I just knew this morning, This slowness has largeness in it. Sometimes large things move very fast, of course, but like a large ship starting its engines, moving can take a great deal of energy. Slowness can be how a large thing starts out: investing more energy.

The largeness inside today’s slowness might be: plans and projects I have in mind. The largeness of beginning another week. The largeness of the many things in my heart and my brain that have to come with me into the day, carefully, if I am going to enter with mindfulness.

Preparation.

When you move slowly, you can spend more time anticipating the next thing. Today, I spent time with so much slowness in my morning that by the time I hit that slow traffic snarl, it seemed exactly right because I already knew the theme of the day. I said to myself and out loud to the traffic, Yes, exactly!

Slow preparation is sometimes what’s needed. The slowest longest shower. The slowest longest walk. And partly this is because of the other helper quality of slow…

Recovery.

Slowness can be preparation, but sometimes it’s just a right relationship to your resources. Not forcing yourself. Doing what you can with what you have. The conservation of energy, because you don’t have much of a choice. Slowness is a way to recover from what has come before.

 

The secret ally

The most important quality hiding behind all of this is trust.

This has been a hard one to figure out today.

I have to trust that I’m doing the right thing. I have to trust that going slow is what I need, and remember that by fulfilling that need I’m also building trust with myself. I’m practicing trust in order to clear the way for the kind of excitement and enthusiasm that I keeping wishing for, and experienced so much of last week.

So I’m trusting the slowness as best as I know how.

Writing here. Thinking about helper qualities. Letting the slowness go deep down into my bones and my cells.

Remembering that entry and exit and mindfulness take a lot of energy.

Letting slowness be the theme, and coming back to it, over and over again. Slow.

Slowness.

Even when it’s not popular, or easy.

Slower. (Does the word look funny to you yet?)

Even slower.

What can it teach me?

.

It feels good to share this today. Honoring the slowness is a new one for me, so this territory is a little fragile.  As always, thank you for reading, friends. xo

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About jesse k.

Writer. Mama. Spy in the house of self-awareness. Occasional crafter, letterpress geek, and academic snob.
This entry was posted in Checking in, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Being with the slow

  1. Claire P says:

    A shavasana time. To give your body/brain/everything a chance to build and rewire all the new neuronal connections after last week’s ‘internal continental shifting’. Like babies need to nap aaaalll the time cos life is full-on when you’re so open to newness and they is getting lots smarter verr fast. Mais non? Makes sense to me… Like the way you’re doing it. *bows*

    • jesse k. says:

      Thanks 🙂 And yes — shavasana, exactly. I guess the strangest thing is how slowness becomes the way of practicing shavasana while walking around, getting work done, generally being out in the world instead of quiet and still on the floor, warm and safe.

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