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The Lost Art of Going Slowly

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Yesterday, I finally DID it!!!   Shared this blog with a few friends (just a few, for now…you know who you are…).  You might say, isn’t the POINT of a blog to share it??

Well, I’ve been writing it more as my OWN online journal/journey so far.  You see, a part of this project for me is about going slow- taking each step in it’s own time, allowing myself to mature into this, focusing on letting rather than forcing.  And making sure that it is real in my heart, before talking about it with every other living being in my life (though my partner, being as excited as he is, is all too eager to share the news over dinner with friends, at our dance communities’ winter potluck, while bowling….it’s sweet, and I’ve gotten over trying to squash his enthusiasm).

My neighbor who is in India, whose little house and plants I am taking care of for the winter, said “this house has made me as much as I have made it”.

She moved into the house 13 years ago.  An old barn maybe, walls falling in, earth worms in one wall.  She doesn’t own it per say, except with her hands and her love (I think her landlord has a good deal going).  She has fixed in up little by little– earth plastered the walls and the floors, built an outhouse and an outdoor shower.  There is no electricity.  Just candles and little LED lights. It’s a work in progress, like her.  An opportunity to reflect on her own place on earth.  She has no urge to leave or go anywhere except to India in the winter when her migraines get bad.  It is hers. (and the rabbits and birds she feeds, the foxes that come in and sit on her bed….)

Of course, when I shared my blog yesterday, I witnessed myself shift from a similar mindset of ease and space, into something that felt more like, “ok, now people know what I’m up to so I have to be UP to something.  Really.  I have to make my lists and check them twice.  And I should have a timeline too.  And maybe my whole attitude is far too whimsical for building a house.  Someone is going to call me on my bluff.”

Eeek.  (that’s why I keep these secret projects close to my heart).  It’s so easy to let my neurosis or the ideas of “how things get done” come in and take over my organic, non rigidified, beautiful, creative heart of work.  Too many things happen too fast in the world, in my opinion.  My life happens far too fast most of the time, so in this project, I want to very consciously practice something different.  I want to be made by this experience, instead of perceiving I am the one in control of it.

And yet, I too, like most of us, grew up and live in a culture that is chronically “in a hurry”.  My dad (bless him) worked one of those jobs that never left his heart, and many years later after he had “divorced himself from formal employment” (as he puts it), his heart seized up and had to be manually opened to remove the leftover of that job that he couldn’t let go of (and a few other things lodged in there to be sure).

I am learning the lost art of going slow.  “I’m not in a hurry” should be my mantra, or for those positive thinking types…”I have plenty of time.  I have all I need. Each piece of this will show up just when it is needed”.  It may sound new agey, but how many of us need more of this attitude in our lives, and how much “rushing about” comes out of a fear of  running out of “something”—time, love, breath, food.

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The blunt truth of it.  When we rush, we just die faster.  Either because we literally “stress” ourselves to death, or because time flies for those of us who fill every moment.  Of course, as I write this, I realize this too is a privilege in our world right now.  A privilege of having a roof overhead and time to dream, connections to resources and community.  I’d like to live in a world where time and space weren’t a privilege, but essential to living a deep and soulful life.  And essential to sustainability since to be with empty space is to not try to fill it with our habits, addictions, and speed. It is to get in touch with what is essential. And no matter how you cut it, that is usually more sustainable.

My “Go Slow” commitment to myself and my little home:  to not add into or buy into the cultural and personal storied madness that there is not enough of the illusive thing we call time or the ever changing things of the material realm…. to be willing to engage in the creative unknown, be the student of the process of trusting, to take one simple step after another, and be ally to seredipity rather than slave to the usual ways of business and economics. (please call me on this commitment if you see me doing otherwise…)

After all, tiny houses are unusual enterprises and dragons are unpredictable creatures.

(my latest acquisition: a dragon t-shirt.  I was in Salvation Army and it was the first thing that caught my eye.  I didn’t have any cash, and the woman in front of me in line offered to buy it for me.  REALLY?!  So now, it is my lucky dragon building t-shirt….)

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