Being mindful of your speed

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Everone has a natural speed.  Above it, you get tired and irritable.  Within it, you are fresher and more aware.  Photo by Nick Abrams on Unsplash

The speed at which you do things matters.  To prove that, I would only have to ask you to go for a walk at 20 kilometres per hour.  You would rapidly become exhausted.

I want to widen the thought to all things that we do.  From the moment you wake up, you can choose how quickly or slowly you do everything in your day.  You may find yourself eating your breakfast quickly.  Why is this?  At work, you may find yourself typing as fast as you can.  Why is that?

WHEN YOU MEET PEOPLE

During your day, you will meet people.  You might pass them in the street, or they may be work colleagues, or they may be friends.  The ‘meeting’ may be physical, or it may be virtual – for instance, a phone call or a message.

At the point of meeting, you will be going at a particular speed.  If you are going faster than kindness allows, then they may notice you avoiding them.  You may give out lots of bodily and verbal signals that you are really quite busy, and can’t stop.

People moving quickly:

  • Haven’t got the time to listen
  • Bring a sense of pressure with them
  • Can’t afford to sit and just be with you for a while
People moving slowly are more likely to:

  • Have time to listen, and sit patiently
  • Bring with them a wonderful sense of calm and welcome
  • Sit with you a little bit longer, just to check you are all right
WHEN YOU PERFORM TASKS

I have news for you.  Your day will be as full as you let it be.  If you fill it up to the brim with activities, and then insist on finishing every single one, then don’t be surprised if you collapse in a heap at night.

Whenever you do anything, you will be doing it at a particular speed.  If you are going faster than peace allows, then you will notice your body getting tired quite quickly.  Your adrenaline levels will rise (this is your body’s way of getting you through extreme challenges that you give it).

People performing quickly:

  • Get tired much faster
  • Are irritable if interrupted
  • Develop an inability to see any point of view but their own
People performing slowly are more likely to:

  • Retain their energy at a more constant flow
  • Accept interruption and disruption without crisis
  • Open their minds to see the task from different perspectives
AN EXERCISE

Today, spend some time observing the speed at which you are functioning.  Are you:

  • walking quickly or slowly?
  • speaking quickly or slowly?
  • letting the world pressurise you, or keeping relaxed despite the world?
  • letting people pressurise you, or keeping relaxed despite people?
  • trying to eat, type, walk, talk, move or think quickly; or moving at your own pace?
It can be quite nice to slow yourself down.  You move, and relate to others, in a different way.  You might even be nice to be with!

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SUMMARY

You have a choice as to how quickly or slowly you live.

If you can learn to slow yourself down…

  1. When you meet others, you will be a better listener, more patient, calm and welcoming, taking the time to care
  2. When you perform tasks, you will feel fresher, and be more flexible, both practically and spiritually
Learning to move more slowly can make you a healthier person, as well as a nicer one to be with.
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