Slow Down to Speed Up

This past year I have been hanging with a woman who reminds me so much of who I was ten or so years ago. Sometimes it drives me crazy. Sometimes it makes me sad. Much of the time it makes me joyous that I am no longer there myself.

As I used to do constantly, my friend recently had a situation where she made a bad choice because she was in a hurry. She wanted something to be finished and finished right now. She didn’t want the pain, anxiety, and discomfort to last. In her hurry to get things resolved, a mistake was made – and the mistake followed her. Instead of having the resolution she wanted, the ending she was longing for, now she had a new situation to deal with. When we make hurried decisions to get things done, we often open a Pandora’s box of other issues.

I remember that pain. I remember blindly flying through issue after issue, making quick decisions which lead to more problems. Instead of receiving the peace I wanted, I ended up making a parade of other issues, conflicts, and unhappy results. I heard it being described like the wake after a jet ski. If we are driving quickly and making sharp turns this way and that, we leave a horrible wake in our path. Do you know this feeling? Do you ever feel behind the eight-ball, allowing panic to come in, then reacting quickly and without thinking? What are the results?

Photo by Brandon Nelson on Unsplash

I can’t say I am a pro now, but I am so much better than I had been. I try to keep the water behind my jet ski as flat and calm as possible. I may not be moving as quickly as I used to, yet I find that I am getting more done and more done efficiently and effectively than I did when I was moving at light speed. Two tools have helped me slow down: The Pause Button and Afternoon Meditation.

The Pause Button

One action which can cause a large wake behind us is jumping on a problem as soon as it pops up. It is like the carnival game Whack-a-Mole, as soon as the problem rears its head, we are ready with our hammer to smash it. Problem is, smashing a problem does not usually make the problem go away and more often makes more problems. Taking a mental and physical pause before we act allows us to think clearly and make the right next choice not just a knee-jerk reaction.

Afternoon Meditation

When I can, I end my work day with meditation. I’d like to be doing 30-minutes, but right now doing the 11-minute Live Soundbath by Johnny Scifo on Insight Timer is enough to help me turn off the accumulated excitement and anxiety of the work day, clear my mind, which allows me to approach the rest of the day with more ease.

When you feel rushed and pressured to act and make things happen, slow down. Use the pause button to give your brain some breathing space. Meditate or pray for guidance before you act. Then see how slowing down can help you speed up to the best resolution without causing more issues in your wake.

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