Should You Slow Down?

Lately, a lot of folks who care about me have been telling me to slow down.  I emerged triumphantly from winter, flung myself into spring, jumped into some beautiful projects, and then I overdid it and got a sinus infection.  The more I speak with people, the more I realize how familiar this script is to folks in our culture.  I think there is so much pressure to accomplish as much as possible in the shortest amount of time possible, that “burn out” has become as common a phrase as “chill out.”

This past week, I’ve finally realized that I may be hooked on having too much going on.  I’ve always known I loved getting lots done and tackling big projects.  I’ve always had a ton of different passions.  And I’ve always known that meditating, especially just sitting in silent stillness, is hard for me.  But I didn’t quite realize how addicted I was to the busyness of my days until I had a chance to slow down, and didn’t like it.  You see, we’ve been growing quickly at Budo Mountain and I spent the last few weeks playing catch up and wearing multiple hats in the business, as well as mothering our four kids and running our home!  There were some sleepless nights for sure – and sometimes when building a project, that’s just par for the course.  But once things had settled down and our stellar staff was all in place, I still felt the need to pile on more – it was like I couldn’t just rest!

Maybe it’s because a part of me knows that not everyone has that space to breathe at all.  Some people are stuck in a system right now where there is no end in sight to the overwhelming, excessive workload.  There’s a gratitude for my own spaciousness, but also guilt.  Eating breakfast today, I realized it’s that same guilt as having enough to eat today while others in the world go hungry.  Should I not eat it?  Of course not!  I should eat it with immense gratitude, and use this nourishment to fuel me to go on and do meaningful work, to try to make the world a better place.  In the same vein, becoming a workaholic is not going to help me serve the world better than taking care of and pacing myself.

Sometimes, it takes an illness to bring us the awareness we need of our own unhealthy patterns.  But maybe, if we pay attention well enough, we don’t need those in-your-face messages as often.  Hopefully, if you too are struggling to slow down, this blog post can be your subtle signal to take that necessary time for yourself and shift things in your life to a more sustainable pace.  After all, there are a lot of other things you could be looking at right now.  Maybe you’re here, reading this, for that very reason.

Here on Budo Mountain, we have been talking about having the “Awareness of the Wind.”  It’s a great, windy month to get above our busyness and get a new perspective – in martial arts and in life!

Kids – be sure to check out the new Special Mission!  If you’re a member, you get to peak at the mission for the week ahead on the Member’s Site Here (use your Password A)!  We also have lots of these videos up for all kids to enjoy on our YouTube Channel, Here!

Thanks for reading.  See you in the dojo!

~Sensei Nesta

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