By now, you know I frequent talk about how important it is to slow down.
To pare the schedule down.
To get rid of the distraction of busyness.
To stop running around, and simply Stop. Right. Where. You. Are.
One of the interesting thing that happens when we first start to slow down like this, when we first start to try it on as spiritual practice, is that we find slowness unbearable.
It’s as if we’ve been eating sugar every hour, and suddenly we give up sugar.
And we eat a carrot.
And of course the craving for the sugar, for the addiction, for the distraction, for the sense of busy-means-I’m-doing-something really takes us on a ride.
We feel antsy, we feel bored, we feel less than, we feel exhausted… as if once we stop moving, we can’t ever start up again.
If you’re in a personal detox from distraction, take heart. The feelings of utter exhaustion, numbness, flatness, flatness will go away soon. Once the addiction to busy-ness gets out of your system, you’ll start to move to a new groove.
Time will lose all meaning for you.
You’ll pay attention to the easy things.
You’ll chop wood, carry water.
You’ll chop wood, carry water some more.
And pretty soon you’ll find that the simple stuff is just as fascinating and far more interesting than all the distractions you used to do because you thought you were supposed to.
There is more peace and ease in heading outside for a mind-clearing walk, than in all the meetings and activities you can think of.
There is more beauty and grace in simply hanging out, than in all the non-stop schedules you can think of.
We think we’ll get bored if we stop doing stuff.
We have FOMO.
We think we’ll stop existing, if we aren’t in constant motion.
But once you get the addiction to busy out of your system… you find that by doing less, you exist more.
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Sometimes we get paralyzed by the past.
We start to mull and muse, and suddenly we’re lock step with the old memories, the old stories, the old habits of mind leading us down a trail of darkness.
We start to think about this relationship that went sour; and when we look at it from conscious mind, we realize that it wasn’t just this terrible, horrible other person who caused all our pain in that relationship…
It was us, too.
We start to think about all the opportunities we blew, or the choices we made out of fear, or the ways we didn’t show up to life fully ready to take advantage of all that we could of, of all our stupid choices.
And it gets overwhelming sometimes: this pool of regrets.
Some days it is very tempting to just dive in deep, and ruminate and feel all that pain, all over again.
Something comforting about it, in a sick and strange way: returning to the pain of the past, instead of sitting with the discomfort that even now, we still don’t know what we’re doing.
We still don’t know what we’re doing.
We’re still going to make mistakes.
We know more than we did… but we don’t have it figured out.
When you’re in this place, trying to shake free from the past but having uncertainty about where you’re headed, it’s useful to think of this:
Life is meant to be a mystery
Life can’t be anything more than a great, vast, unknown.
We are never given the whole map; that would be dull.
We are given the next breadcrumb on our path.
That’s all you need to do: go to the next breadcrumb.
The Universe has them scattered all over on the forest floor.
Surely you can slow down and breathe and allow yourself to spot one?
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At a certain age, and I’m going to peg it around 50, we start to understand that we are past the mid point.
We look back, and we see all the years and decades we’ve experienced where we were unconscious, doing things that other people wanted us to do, doing things because that’s how they’ve always been done.
A lot of us at this point have raised kids, been in long-term relationships, been part of mainstream community.
And now, suddenly, we find ourselves in the midst of great change.
We are divorce.
We’ve lost people to death.
We’ve brushed with illness.
We’ve had shifts in work.
Our money’s gone up and down.
We’ve gotten older, and we can see it.
And there’s this sense of loss at first… this desire to linger back in memory and try and pull it all back.
And after we sit with that, there’s this sense of… okay, now what?
How do I want to live my last 1, 10, 20, 40 years?
Now that I’ve gotten this far, and learned all I’ve learned the hard way…. How do I want to live the rest of this lifetime?
There are no rules, folks.
You can live exactly how you please.
You can hang out in the past wishing for what was.
Or you can move forward, starting this minute.
If you are in your mid-life, you might want to sit with this idea of a Universe of Unlimited Expansion, and see what you want to create going forward.
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Sara blogs on spirituality and intuition twice weekly. Get Daily Divine direct to your inbox, plus instantly download the FREE ebook, "What are Your Unique Psychic Gifts?"