Recently a friend of mine and I were discussing the future of our businesses, and she expressed an opinion that really made me think.
She suggested that I take my 10-year goals and work to accomplish them in six months. The time is now, she said, to get there in a hurry.
Why must I hurry? What am I hurrying toward? Is there a particular destination I’m trying to reach where everything will be somehow better?
I really don’t think so.
In fact, I felt distinctly uncomfortable because one of my big take-aways from living through our current pandemic is that I would like to slow down. I would like to breathe deeper and be more in the moment and enjoy some of the fruits of my labor. I find it hard to be present and to enjoy anything when I’m rushing around, filled with urgency.
I know what it’s like to rush and scurry through life. I have spent years doing just that. It’s why the message of sanctuary is so important to me. It reminds me to show up and be where I am. It reminds me to feel the texture of each and every moment. It reminds me that the only thing that really counts is the journey.
I don’t even notice the journey when I’m hurrying. In that space, I have already projected into my next accomplishment, my next task, my next hurdle. I have a very singular focus when I’m in that urgent space and it doesn’t allow for the little moments of joy, of presence, of just being. As I have thought about what I want to to take with me to the other side of our current situation and what I want to leave behind, I know I want to take a slower pace with me and leave the hurrying behind. I have many thoughts about what I want to take and what I want to leave, but this is an important one. I’ll share more on the others later.
When I move quickly through life I miss the blue jay that calls to his friends to join him at the bird-feeder I just filled in my back yard (which I rarely remember to fill when I’m rushing). I miss the way the sunlight on the water causes rippling patterns of light across the broad leaves of my ginger plant. I miss noting the sweetness of my dog Maggie, coming to give my leg a little lick to thank me for breakfast after she eats.
When I move quickly through life I am out of step with the grace of the divine and the energy of universal love that pervades everything. Sometimes when I’m particularly out of balance, I completely forget it’s even there. I get stressed and hassled and discontented. And the truth is nothing actually changed, I’ve just been running around (as my grandma would always say) like a chicken with my head cut off. A rather gruesome visual but you get my drift.
I don’t want to do that anymore. I am going to strive to continue in my desire for a slower pace and a richer, deeper experience of living in my days. After all, as Mary Oliver reminded us, we only have this one, wild and precious life. What are we going to do with it?
I’d love to hear what you think about this. What is your relationship with hurrying? How often do you take time to deliberately and intentionally slow down? How do you feel when people urge you to rush toward your goals? Hit reply and let’s have a dialogue about this. It’s important and I’m listening.
With love and gratitude,