Slowing Down to Speed Up
By: Andee Scarantino
(3 min read)
One of the themes I have seen over the years from clients and different people I’ve known is the theme of “overwhelm.”
I run a coaching community and one of our members fondly refers to it as “Overwhelm Overlook” which I think is awesome.
The thing is, there isn’t any overwhelm in the present moment. There’s only now, and what we can do “now.” Overwhelm exists in the future, which is an imaginary place rooted in psychological time.*
When we think of the endless steps from A to B, which your mind wants to organize all ahead of time, we can drive ourselves into analysis paralysis, but when we slow down and are just here in the now, we think clearly in calm certainty.
People don’t like to “slow down to speed up” because they believe it is illogical. Yet, logic is really “illogical.”
I’ll give a good example.
I always was told “run slower to race faster,” but that didn’t make sense. “Shouldn’t I always want to make my next day’s performance better than the last?”
From the linear progression model, I was fed by Western society, and it didn’t make sense to run slower. I thought, “If I start running slower, I’ll just get slower and slower and slower.”
Yet, when I tried it, it worked. I started getting faster.
When I was getting my certification to be a running coach, the Western society concept was once again taught and more thoroughly explained to me. (You can just pick up a copy of the Daniels’ Running Formula if you want to understand the science.)
I now run slower than I have in years. The sound of my everyday run is a bit thump-da-dump-de-dump-de-dump, and yet it’s VERY rare that I don’t PR when I race. (PR means Personal Record). Last May, I ran a 10-miler at a 7:46 average… wtf. I smoked for 18 years.
Why is this?! SO ILLOGICAL!!!? But it isn’t illogical. What your mind thinks is logical is likely illogical. There are scientific processes that happen IN YOUR BODY that maximize your running economy when you run slower most of the time.
The same is true with your mind, returning to the present, and slowing down.
There are scientific processes that happen both inside the body (neurologically) and outside the body (quantum physics sort of stuff) when you detach from your thoughts, allow space, and return to the present.
When you can slow down, your brain can talk to itself. You return to the present moment which eliminates worry, anxiety, and fear.
Like Ram Dass says, “Be here now.”
A lot of what we’ve been taught for “how it’s supposed to go” is VERY illogical.
You can’t expand without contracting. You can’t enhance yourself without taking breaks.
I come from a background where the mindset was “if you don’t have what you want, work until you’re dead. Delay all enjoyment.”
Listen… there have been times navigating early entrepreneurship where I thought “oh God, I really need to pinch pennies, I can’t have anyyyyyything extra this month.”
But if I worked f’in hard on something, I’d still reward myself from time to time with an 8-dollar fancy Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream and leave a nice tip on top of it. Why? Because that’s the expansive mindset. I always give to myself because that opens me up to be creative and flow rather than the restrictive mindset which leaves me dense and sullen.
We aren’t taught that. It’s ILLOGICAL, yet… it works. We attract more when we vibrate higher.
Stealing that old Zen proverb: “If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour every day, you should meditate for two hours.”
When you don’t have time, that’s the time you need to slow down the most. IT IS ILLOGICAL to your rational mind, but the processes behind it makes too much sense for your rational mind to understand.
*This concept comes from Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now
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