I learned this concept of GETTING SLOW from the school where I became a certified health coach (and a healthier person in general)...the INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION. I never saw myself as a perfectionist (do you know many perfectionists who do?) and thought that the faster and harder I worked, the better. I learned this past year that while working hard DOES have payoffs (have I mentioned the 12 grand in credit card debt I paid off this year?), it also had drawbacks.
I was pulling 80+ hour workweeks--and took pride in that while in the meantime, my waist grew wider from no exercise, the circles beneath my eyes got darker and deeper and my general mental, physical and emotional health declined. I acted like an overtired 5-year-old child. Because I was one.
If you haven't tapped into your inner child work, I suggest you get on that train. We all come from hard times; poor or wealthy, it's all the same if the mental and emotional health of your 'rents wasn't intact. No shame, no blame. Just name.
My childhood was pretty stable considering the tales my pals have told me of theirs, but relative to others'? I needed some stuff I didn't get--and it wasn't 5 pairs of Z Cavaricci pants.
So that inner child stuff--it was coming out in the way I was overworking myself. I (subconsciously) reasoned that if I worked hard and ran myself into the ground, it would get me the elusive safety, security, validation, support, etc. etc. I lacked from earlier days.
Did it work?
It just made me more anxious, depressed, forgetful, panicky, reactionary, defensive, tired, hungry (but since I was too tired and busy to cook, I ate crap instead and gained weight...awesome) and that's just the short list.
The solution? IIN and Buddhism taught me one valuable tool to use to undo the "momentum of my conditioning" (quoted from my therapist, whom I love)--- SLOW the F Down.
When you feel like something's chasing you, stop running. That thing is you. It's your mind. It's your ego. It's your patterns. It's your fears. If you're running yourself into the ground and neglecting the basics of a healthy life --> eating healthy home-cooked food, sleeping, relaxing, exercising <-- THE MONSTERS ALREADY GOT YOU! Surrender and stop running. Slow down. Flip the script. Schedule less calendar appointments, make less phone calls, watch less tv---just sit still with yourself. Try to clear your mind for 5 minutes (when my clients try this for the first time, they are amazed at how hard it is!). Walk to work/school if possible--with no headphones. Literally find the SLOW MO button on your body and press it. Firmly.
Every time I remember to do this, my life gets profoundly better in a nanosecond. The running begets more running. The slowing down allows me to be present with whatever is bugging me, scaring me, frustrating me and probably not serving me.
Ah, there's the rub. When you slow down, you --get to-- face things and deal with them. Now that I've slowed down, I am able to effectively manage aspects of my life that will bring me more clarity, abundance and happiness.
I get more from doing less.