Slow Down to Speed Up

I led a 4-hour workshop last week for a corporate board of directors…each one, especially the CEO, concerned with better time management, how to “save time”.

I don’t believe in saving time…all we can do is take very good care of our very special selves. We need to rid ourselves of “stuff”: stuff that distracts our bodies , minds & spirits from our path, or things that drain our precious physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual energies. And sometimes the best way to recoup our energies is to s-l-o-o-w d-o-w-n. As Loeher and Schwartz demonstrated in their “Energy Project” work with champion athletes, we need to alternately move from the “performance zone”, into the the “recovery zone”….or we’ll feel..and BE..depleted, moving into the “burnout zone”.

We get so buried by “clutter” in our relationships, homes, thoughts, feelings, desks, addictions, bad habits, interruptions at work, phone calls, emails, trying to “do it all” that we don’t let ourselves take time to do the ONE thing that can help us be more effective & productive….and that’s to stop. Stop to think, to plan, to relax, to regroup, to meditate, to pray, to look at the blessings around us; to clear our minds, emotions & spirit.

We need to slow down to speed up. We can’t be in the “performance zone” all the time. We need…we NEED the “recovery zone”. That’s how Olympic champions train to be their best, and that’s what we need, too. We need to lead ourselves first, from within, to be our best on the outside…

The commentary below was written by speaker & coach Stephanie Frank….

Slow down to speed up

Just finished watching the movie Peaceful Warrior. (If you haven’t seen it, go grab a copy at the DVD store. It’s one you’ll want to see more than once).

In the movie, Dan, the main character, has a very busy life. He’s a young college student and athlete, bound for the Olympics, he trains hard, plays hard and gets good grades. A certain feeling of uneasiness comes over him about his life, something he’s never had before. He seeks the counsel of a wise elder who begins to show him the way.

At one point in the movie, they agree to meet at a bridge overlooking a shallow creek at the college for a lesson. Dan, in his hurried world, totally forgets that he also has an athletic tryout at the same time he agreed to meet his mentor. He tells his friend to hold a spot for him at the gym, and sprints to the bridge. He catches up with his mentor Soc (short for Socrates) who is leaning on the bridge railing, quietly observing nature.

“Soc, I’m sorry,” Dan blurts out “I completely forgot I have tryouts in a few minutes. Can we make this quick?”

“Sure,” says Soc.

And he throws Dan over the bridge, into the water.

“WHAAAAAAA!” yells Dan, as he jumps up, soaking wet. “What did you do THAT for?”

“When you were falling, what were you thinking of?” Soc said quietly.

Dan stared blankly, unable to answer.

“NOTHING” said Soc. “You were totally in this moment. You weren’t thinking of the tryout, you weren’t thinking of school you weren’t thinking about anything except what you were experiencing, right here, right now. Slow down. Be present. Look at everything going on around you.”

“There’s nothing going on,” said Dan as he observed the people in the park.

“Look closer” said Soc.

Soon Dan began to notice things. Little things at first. The lovers smiling and kissing. The dog grabbing a ball. Then, as he got into the moment, he began to notice true beauty around him. The leaves on the trees. The sound of the wind blowing. Laughter, insects and even the sound of the water running in the creek.

Slowing down is an important part of speeding up. Do you spend time in observation, totally in silence, or are you racing through life trying to reach a destination?

My plan for this year is to slow down to speed up. Huge things are happening for me that I’ll share in other posts, and in order to receive those huge gifts (and realize my dreams), slowing down must happen.
Happy Holidays and MANY LITTLE BLESSINGS to you–