I will admit up front that I feel a bit uncomfortable talking about this because I have not “arrived” either, but here goes…
We need to stop being in a hurry. Unless someone is choking and you are rushing to administer CPR, there is no reason for us ever to be in a hurry. (I am not talking to you paramedics out there, obviously.) Being in a hurry is not the same as being efficient or productive. You can figure out the simplest, easiest, most efficient way of doing your laundry, for example, without ever being in a hurry. When we are in a hurry we are more likely to have an accident; we are more likely to forget something; we are more likely to snap at people. We do not have time to pay attention. We are putting our bodies through stress – for no real reason. Stress is hard on our immune systems, our sleep patterns, our relationships, etc. When we are in a hurry we do not have time to think, to consider, to ponder, to putter. We need to do all these things in order to become the people we are meant to be.
Okay, you say, but how do I stop being in a hurry? You may be used to being in a hurry as a way of life. Slowing down will be a process. Here are some things to consider…
- Create a bedtime routine for yourself (and your family) in which you lay out your clothes for tomorrow, gather up what you will need the next day and put it by the front door so you are not rushing around the next morning trying to find your keys and make your lunch.
- Force yourself to go to bed at a decent hour.
- When you find yourself rushing, take three deep breaths.
- Replace your busy thoughts with a reminder to yourself, like “peace” or “All in good time”.
- Start simplifying your life slowly but surely. Do you have too many clothes? Get rid of some. It will make your decisions about getting dressed easier. Is every minute of the day scheduled? You need to pitch some activities. You need down time in which to just breathe, think, and do nothing.
Okay, I think that’s enough to get you started, and now I really need to wrap this up because I’ve got half an hour before my next appointment, and I need to run to the store to pick up a few things because tonight I’ve got to…oops. This brings me to
- Plan ahead.
- When you fall into your old habits, forgive yourself and start over tomorrow.
Yes, I know that not being in a hurry is a radical thing to do, but the more peace we experience from slowing down, the stronger we will be. If you are in a hurry because you are trying to run away from your personal demons, make a different plan. You can schedule an appointment with a therapist, or journal, or just let yourself be depressed. Being sad is ok. If you find you cannot function, there are medications that could help you through a rough time. Be prepared for pushback from society at large. The more in a hurry we are, the more products we buy to alleviate stress. Take a deep breath, be radical, and stop being in a hurry.