Deliberately Slowing Down


stoffel-wideSo what comes to mind when we explore the concept of slowing down? I think about things like sleep, and healthy food preparation, and planning for maximum efficiency to get everything done. But that’s only part of the story. There are also the spiritual aspects of intention, and purpose, and giving priority to nurturing the soul. And eventually, I come to the realization that it is all about balance. Living deliberately, in harmony and balance, inside and out.

Conflict, within ourselves and with others, uses precious resources of strength, will and creativity, that none of us can afford to waste. Attempting to meet old, unrealistic expectations often leads us down blind alleys of disappointment and regret. And the anchor of old belief systems keeps us stuck in the purgatory of wasted effort. Most often, a life event rattles our cage and inspires us to break free and vow to do things differently. And it works in certain aspects of our lives or for the time it takes for us to feel comfortable again. Then, whatever we have used to sabotage our lives in the past, returns — because we really haven’t changed our underlying operating system.

So the real issue is how can we do that? Sometimes we can focus on one area, such as changing our diet and eating habits. By concentrating our attention and maintaining our focus, we can make lasting changes in our lifestyle. It requires dedication and determination to succeed in replacing old habits with new ones. All weight control and fitness programs stress the importance of changing the mind chatter, as well as the daily routines. I propose we have to go even further and address the underlying beliefs we all have about our body image, our health and our ability to change. We can chant the affirmation “I am my perfect weight” twenty times before each meal and it will have minimal effect if our underlying belief is: “I can never reach this impossible goal!”

The problem with this approach is that it is very time and labor intensive. And, you have to focus on one area at a time to apply all of your resources to the problem. While you are doing that, other areas tend to slide, or regress, or just get worse. It becomes very difficult to juggle it all, which defeats the whole purpose of slowing down to achieve balance and harmony. As hard as we try, past events, traumas and indoctrination continue to influence our ability to make permanent changes. And that is what we want: the ability to create the life we want and dis-create anything in our operating system that is holding us back.

“Slowing down” implies much more than a change in attitude, as powerful as that can be. It requires a thorough examination of the operating system I have developed to get me to this point in my life. I need to define my blueprint so I can understand what is truly driving the saboteurs and defense mechanisms that keep me stuck, or that undermine my progress. Once I have achieved this understanding, then I can deliberately address not just “how” I sabotage my efforts, but “why” I do so. By dis-creating those beliefs that are no longer serving me, I can remove the blocks that are keeping me stagnant. I can choose what I want to believe and I can decide what changes I want to make. Not only does this speed up the process, it creates lasting changes in the areas I choose.

Living in balance and harmony is not an impossible dream. Living deliberately is the fastest, most permanent way to achieve it.

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