Living "slow" is not as much about speed as it is about awareness. Frequently I find myself rushing to the next moment only to miss the moment I am presently living. It zooms by and I mourn its loss. I feel drawn to slow down each moment so that I can live it fully and celebrate its passing rather than mourn the missed opportunity.
"Slow" for me feels "in the moment" vs. focusing all of my attention on something out in front of me. I embrace both drives within me as essential to who I am as a human being. While I spent 13 years of my adult life in a spiritual school learning to meditate, get still and be present, I always had a goal of getting closer to God and being more available to serve those who came to be taught...both of which kept me continuously moving toward a target.
The past 3 years for me have been about putting on the brakes, regrouping and rediscovering myself all over again. My goals felt a bit less lofty...get to know myself as a human being, get to know my spouse as a human being, get to know myself as a parent and my children as budding humans who need me more than they need just about anyone else. After 13 years of intensive spiritual work with a teacher, I was finally feeling somewhat confident in my role as priest and guide to those pursuing the spiritual life. As I departed from that role, I felt far less confident in my role as spouse and parent. I had to "slow" life way the heck down to come into my own on the home front. I had to acknowledge and let go of the shame and guilt I carried for not being able to balance the two roles.
During these past 3 years I have frequently felt like a ship without an oar, rudder or light house to show me the way. I felt myself being called to stop in my tracks, to take a good honest look at myself and honor the myriad of conflicting feelings going on in each moment. I felt drawn to take inventory on what needed to stay and what needed to go. Slowing down gave me the opportunity to look; simplifying has allowed me to refocus.
During my husband's trip to Italy last fall, part of his own journey toward healing and self-discovery, we both did some soul searching about what our lives would look like if we were living true to our heart's desires. When I took away the pressure of needing to conform to his life's vision, I re-discovered my own buried vision that had interestingly enough had me seek out a spiritual path in the first place. As chance would have it, our visions turned out to be quite complimentary. Once our shared visions came into full view, life began to speed up. My mind began racing with creative outbursts. I wanted to jump out of my skin with excitement for the opportunity to create once again. Nothing uplifts me more than to feel that I am living life with a sense of purpose.
Unanswered questions and logistical details forced us to SLOW down the process. Slowing down has allowed me to get in touch with all the uncomfortable feelings I would have gladly blown on by. Being in touch with these feelings has allowed to me to mourn, cherish, celebrate and express gratitude for the loss and gain of so many life experiences.
I have come to appreciate that when things don't move as swiftly as I want them to, I am likely failing to be present to what is right under my nose. When things begin to speed ahead, I am learning to pay closer attention to my own footing so I don't trip and fall. On the eve of our moving day, I am grateful for the time to slow down, recuperate and rejuvenate so that I could be readied for life to speed up once again!
I am appreciating the gift of sickness as a means of slowing down and putting me in touch with my insides. I scheduled 2 leisure days off last week to enjoy the beautiful outdoors prior to our move away from the Pacific Northwest. Nature took my cue and slowed me down some more with a whopping head cold. Normally I boost up on supplements and push my way through. This time I decided to lean into the cold and rest figuring my body was trying to talk to me but I was too busy too listen. I asked if there was anything I needed to be aware of and then I shut up...the headache was causing too much pressure to luxuriate in thinking. Once the headache cleared, the tears started to unleash. All of my residual unfelt emotions surrounding our upcoming move surfaced, the flood gates opened and the tears flowed. By the end of my day off with my hubby on Thursday, I was all cried out. On friday I returned to a full day of work, multiple errands and grocery shopping in prep for a party. On Saturday, I joyfully received 80+ guests to our home for an end of school year/farewell gathering. I felt so grateful to have moved through the painful letting go process beforehand so I could simply be with all of the lovely people who have helped make our experience in Bellingham such a special one. Thank you beautiful body for nudging me to slow down, shush up and listen.
I'm Kelly Isabelle.
Full-time workin' mama & spouse aspiring to live a slowly paced, sustainably minded, creatively expressed, clutter-free life shared with kindred folk.