Are You Addicted To Speed?
Well, I am. Or, hopefully, I was.
I love to gallop horses and ski fast, while regulating the speed. But, the kind of speed I'm talking about is the addiction to getting things done quickly, in order to save time. With the pretense of avoiding feeling overwhelmed and to outrun the perpetual pressures in life, self-imposed or otherwise; to do enough, keep up and catch up.
Tortoise and Hare Revisited:
I've always been a quick reader, fast mover and talker. Sure, having hare characteristics are no better or worse than having tortoise ones. Yet, look around. The addiction to speed is the cultural belief that faster+busier= more gets done. Which more? Is more better? What, for each of us, is truly important?
What can happen with speed- for- the -sake -of -it thinking and behavior? Unproductive multi-tasking. Rushing, physically, emotionally and mentally. The result? Some pleasant surges of adrenaline. Then tension, accelerating into impatience and anxiety. The inability to be receptive and flexible. Strict adherence to a self-imposed schedule, with no time allowed for mistakes, setbacks and unexpected occurrences. Flashes of unrelenting perfectionism. Sound familiar?
A Choice: Stepping Out Of “Crazy Busy”:
In the flurry of recent, crowded tourist town summers, when asked how I was, I used to answer, “Good, but crazy busy”. Yeow. Why has this become a standard reply, implying that it's just the way it is? Why do I or does anyone else buy into that? What are the individual choices to be made?
Dismantling Cultural Beliefs & Choosing Values:
Yes, taking deep breaths works. So does meditation, being in nature and other practices for being present. But, how many of us do these things, then switch back into speed mode? In addition to these practices, it's time to look into our beliefs and at those cultural rules that can be dismantled or at least not adhered to. It's time to review and to embrace values based upon choice, not by outward pressure. Its time to claim the importance of solitude and being receptive.
Wouldn't that be cool, if it was considered cool? We can shape culture, not merely be shaped by it.
Declare that being is as important as doing:
Be non-negotiable with time alone.
Take at least 15 minutes a day to be unplugged, to relax, reflect, imagine and intend. Remember that the best creators, geniuses and innovators have been known to take naps, soak in the tub, meditate, take long walks, and otherwise seemingly “do nothing”, which is really the ability to be receptive and to perceive, to download ideas and insights. Why is that o.k for Einstein and not for you or me? So- called “wasting time” in this way can make time to for extraordinary doing.
Notice, when doing several things at once, how present you actually are. I can talk on the phone while washing dishes or folding laundry and feel that I am fully engaged in the conversation. Reading or writing an email while on the phone? Not so much. It feels like my wavering attention dishonors that person.
Making Peace With Not Being Caught Up:
For me, a work in progress. Rather than stressing about not getting everything
accomplished in my chosen time frame, I'm learning to recognize and trust the greater timing that goes on behind, above and below the scenes. Ego timing isn't often in sync with spiritual timing, right?
I'd love to hear about your experiences and practices.