Slowing Down

One of my clients said to me in our session yesterday, “As I was waiting for you to call, I had an extra twenty minutes so I decide to just sit and notice what I was feeling inside. And since I’ve been reading your articles and books, I’ve started journaling a lot more.” I said, “This is the key of walking through a transition consciously: allowing yourself the time and space to feel your feelings.”

Like the majority of people who find their way to me, this woman is extremely intelligent, introspective, and self -aware. Through my books, websites, and blog, she has all of the information she needs to work through the feelings that are creating her engagement and transition anxiety. For most of us, the hardest part about transitions – whether it’s getting married, becoming a mother, getting divorced, or losing a beloved – is allowing ourselves to slow down enough to feel the feelings. Friday’s posts will either be a quote or blog that speaks to this point.

Two weeks ago I wrote about my commitment on Shabbat to unplug and slow down. The following post was written last Shabbat, by hand, in the quiet space initiated by the absence of electricity. My hope is that by reading about ways to slow down, you will be encouraged to find your own way to do the same. 

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Today I write by hand. With my computers unplugged I have to search the house to find this journal. I love my computer, with its sleek design and extreme efficiency, but it’s vitally imporant for me to remember weekly that life can go on without it. A few days ago I said to my husband, “Can you imagine what would happen to this world if the Internet went down?” I remember how reluctant I was to jump on the email train because I feared that people would stop writing actual letters. An avid letter writer through my teens and 20s, I cherished the entire process, from picking out beautiful stationary to affixing a special stamp. While I still write the occasional letter  and enjoy role-modeling the process to my son, the fact remains that letter-writing has, as I feared, become a dying art. Perhaps Saturdays will become our day to write a letter…

Today I move more slowly. I pause an extra minute or two when I walk onto the screened-in porch so I can breathe in the fresh spring air as I lift my arms to the sky. I exhale deep gratitude for the beauty that surrounds me. I notice the blue ribbons hanging from the rings on the stable beams and remember when balloons fluttered at their ends on Everest’s 5th birthday. Memory and reflection live close to the surface today, and I invite them in.

Today I nap with my baby instead of “getting stuff done.” I attend to the house instead of the world in my computer. I take pleasure in the simple tasks of home, like doing laundry: unhurriedly sorting the clothes, taking time to sit with Asher as he delights in the water colliding with the soap to form a sudsy rush, the quiet task of folding warm, clean clothes as my baby plays next to me. There’s nowhere to be. There’s nothing I need to do today. Today is a being day.

Today is my fallow day, my day of rest. In moving more slowly and unplugging electrically, I recalibrate my inner and outer spaces to the natural rhythm of life. This pause in the week encourages gratitude as I settle into alignment with life as it is instead of setting my sights on future goals and dreams. Goals and dreams are wonderful, but for today I say “thank you” again and again and again for the blessings that already are.