Though we may know through experience that slowing down is a gift not only to ourselves but to all we come into contact with and the world as a whole, we may still find ourselves, on occasion, feeling guilty for slowing down.
We live in a society that places the highest value on the external. It places the highest value on doing, producing and achieving.
But you, like me, have been down that road and you have found that without the balance of being, the doing offers no lasting fruit.
The speed, endless hard work and the push to achieve are so well practiced in our culture and held up on such a high pedestal, that even when you have seen and experienced the gift of slowing down, it can be almost impossible not to keep falling into guilt when those around you are still rushing around.
But if you try to go back to your old ways of rushing and working too hard at all the wrong things, you find that you cannot sustain it for any length of time. Your heart has moved on and knows that an excess of doing is not the way forward.
Over the years, I have had conversations with so many people who express this feeling of guilt as they allow themselves to slow down, to spend time on their own healing, to breathe in the morning air, to go for a walk, to listen to a bird sing. And of course I periodically feel this guilt myself.
It’s not realistic, at this point in our evolution, to expect that we can simply stop feeling this guilt and we don’t need to make getting rid of it our goal. We are in a period of transition. A period in which doing and being are coming back into balance. Through this transition, however long it may last, the guilt will come up and that is absolutely ok.
What is important is that we continue, alone and together, to slow down into stillness and experience the delicious fruits this stillness brings. In doing this as often as possible, we are reminded of why it is important and necessary and we gather our strength so as not to be pulled back into the mayhem and chaos of our times.
We must continue to remind one another that slowing down is not selfish but is in fact an act of courage that puts us back in touch with the Divine and heals our weary hearts. As one person heals, the whole world heals. So let this be a reminder if you need it today to allow yourself to follow that impulse to slow down and be.
Love and courage,