Your eyes open and there it is. A spark. You can feel it. The beauty of new beginnings. You’re excited. You start. You roll. You make progress. You fuel it and it fuels you.
You’re motivated. You can’t sleep. You want to wake up and just go, go, go. You’re better. At work, at home, at the gym. It spreads. It’s contagious. You have so much energy. Where does it come from?
You need more. Something else. Another project. A new sport. A better job. Let’s go!
But then, something happens. Somewhere, something shifts. A few weeks in, you wake up and…what? Why? How can this be? I don’t want to get up. No. Nooo. Just let me sleep. But you can’t. Now, you have to get up.
You have work to do. The gym is important. Your second project is slow. And a part of the first just broke. It needs fixing. Ugh. It’s too much. When are you supposed to do all of this? Now, a friend calls. She’s in town. Let’s get dinner? Another needs help. Hey, can you read my resumé?
Slowly, anxiety creeps in. Everything is just another item on your to-do list. The list is long. Endless. It just spools off in your head. Over and over. Why does it never stop?
You can’t sleep. Your heart is pounding. You’ve had way too much coffee. You try anyway. Eight hours. Just this once. Pleaaase. You wake up after five. Argh. No time, no time. Gotta go. Gotta fix all of this.
What happened? How did you go from “I can take on the world” to “I’m overwhelmed, alone, and no one understands me” so fast? Nothing. Nothing really happened.
You just forgot to slow down. You forgot to breathe.
Life is a cycle. It all comes and goes. Our state of busy, of energy, of motivation, pressure, happiness, and anxiety. But at any point in this cycle, you can breathe.
Breathing. You’re doing it right now. But taking a breath? Please, do it right now.
More breathing, more living. Deeper breathing, deeper living.
Every problem has a solution. That solution lies behind a single, deep breath.
Sometimes, it’s a solution of action. Sometimes, it’s one of acceptance. Or thinking. Or waiting. Courage. Patience. Changing our perspective. But it’s always a solution we must take time to see. That we must make room for.
Breathing is that time. Breathing is that space. Perseverance, one cycle at a time.
PS: This spoken word piece perfectly captures the spirit of this post.
About Slow Down Sunday: Life is fast. If we don’t stop and turn around once in a while, we might miss it. So on Sunday, let’s stop and turn around.
Let’s slow down so we can experience all of life - not just parts of it.
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