Have you found it hard to slow things down? I have always been defined by all the things I am “doing.” People are always asking what’s next? What are you up to? There are always inquiries from others about my future plans. People mean well when they ask these things, but I recognize this feeling that my self worth has been defined by the things I've achieved or accomplished. Don’t get me wrong, having goals and something to be working towards is important. But it seems as though when I start to slow down the guilt and negative thoughts creep in. The question I have asked myself a lot this week is, why? Why do I let myself feel shame for taking time to sit in the present and not think about all the things I should be doing next? Why do I feel guilty when my schedule isn’t packed to the brim with things to do everyday? Why is it, that when I take a break, I immediately begin to think about all the things other people are doing right now? Some of our deepest insecurities try to take over when we begin to slow down. But what if we let ourselves acknowledge everything we have been doing and validate our need to take break when we are tired? Give yourself permission to slow down.
Taking the time to slow down and just be has been added to the "to-do" list. I have had to be very intentional during times when the shame begins to set in, to pause and tell myself “it’s okay, you needed this.” All of your goals, dreams, achievements and accomplishments will still be there after we have taken time to fuel our minds and bodies again. In fact, we will likely be better set up to reach those goals after giving ourselves that time to slow down. Listening to what my body is trying to tell me it needs is a work in progress. It’s an adjustment and it takes time, but it is so worth it. So if this is the sign you needed, then take it. Go do the thing that you’ve been wanting to do for so long, but didn’t because it didn’t fit in your plan. Taking the extra long shower, savor your meal just a little longer, watch that next episode of your show. Go spend time with your friend, family or partner and just do nothing together. Slow down, be intentional in your actions and allow yourself to spend time in the present. The future will be there when you come back.