The importance of slowing down.

The importance of slowing down.

If you have been in therapy with anyone from Phenix Counseling, you have probably heard the following words:

the importance of slowing down. 

There are usually a variety of reactions when this is discussed, all the way from the impossibility of even considering a different pace in life to flat out annoyance of still hearing this as an option. We get it. We’ve been there. Pretty sure my reaction was one of “uh huh” with no intention of actually doing so.

Slowing down completely goes against our society. It goes against this performance driven lifestyle, where you are only as good or as valuable as your recent accomplishment.

However, this lifestyle of go-go-go, constantly pouring out to others, not taking care of ourselves, trying to desperately prove that we are good enough or lovable, is deceptive. Not because we are trying to deceive anyone, but because it promises something it can never deliver. It says if we just keep going a little more, we’ll finally arrive. If we work a little harder, or give a little more, we’ll finally reach the top. We will finally be good enough.

We never reach it though. 

Placing your value or worth in the hands of other people, living a lifestyle where you are constantly striving or giving with no return on building back into yourself, is a death sentence.

See, what the lie doesn’t tell you is that the stress, the non-stop nature of this lifestyle, creates an environment that hinders your growth, healing, and enjoyment in life. It creates an environment where you are surviving day to day, exhausted, and never catching a break. The added stress ends up doing damage to your organs and body that shows up as you age, usually at a pace much faster than others.

So if you’re like I was a few years ago, and realizing that maybe you’re curious if it is possible to find fulfillment in life with less stress, then continue reading. The number one secret, the first beginning step, is slowing down.

Now, this looks a variety of ways so I’ll only focus on one aspect of it today. These past few months, our blogs have been using the metaphor of gardening to illustrate forming a new life for yourself. We finished fertilizing last month. This month, we are focusing on the time in between planting the new seeds and harvesting the fruit. Unfortunately, this is usually the time that people become inpatient, wanting the results sooner than later, or become super busy in the excitement of seeing the new seedlings begin to emerge. 

So let’s break this down.

  1. What new seeds have you been planting in your life the past few months or year? (As in, what new decisions have you been making to change the course of your life). These could be small, such as drinking more water everyday in an effort to keep your body hydrated, or intentionally forming a new friendship with someone who is healthier than previous relationships.
  2. Are you seeing growth in some of those areas? Which ones? How?

If you’re seeing growth, great. If you’re planting new seeds and waiting on seedlings to emerge, that is a powerful place as well. Here is my invitation to you:

Be intentional about how you spend your time during this process.

Again, slowing down can look many different ways, but we are only focusing on this one today. In the excitement of seeing changes in your day to day life, don’t allow the excitement to be the energy that pushes you to say yes to things that are not sustainable, that drain you more than they build into you, or are based on gaining someone else’s approval.

I invite you to take this time and really explore all of the things, events, groups, or people that you have said yes to. Is this lifestyle sustainable for you? Are these relationships sustainable? Is the new potential “yes” to something else manageable with everything else you have or would it actually begin to drain you?

This is a time of gaining awareness, giving grace to yourself, and just exploring your current lifestyle. We will be discussing this more in depth as the month goes on, so feel free to comment below your answers to the above highlighted questions.

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