Slow is the New ASAP
When you get off the rat race and onto the path less travelled, life becomes a whole lot deeper and more meaningful. Circumstances and coincidences happen more frequently. Chance meetings with the person that can open the right doors aren’t so ‘chance’ anymore.
The slow-down-to-speed-up philosophy is not about doing less or taking a longer time to do things. It’s like when you get on the travelator at the airport. You stop walking and let it do the work for you. It becomes effortless. There is less struggle and resistance.
It’s like finding life’s pulse and getting in the perfect groove. In order to find this, you first have to slow down and listen for the beat. In our fast-paced lifestyles we can’t hear what life is telling us. What our bodies are trying to let us know. We ignore the signals and before we know it, we’ve got cancer or heart disease or diabetes.
The 44th verse of the Tao says, “Know when to stop, if the chase is wearing out your health, stop. If the chase is wreaking havoc on your relationship, stop. Exhausting you, stop. When you know when to cease and assist you are protected from all the perils and you will enjoy a long and contented existence.”
The chase is the constant wanting and striving for more. The not knowing when to stop is the cancer that is killing us.
All it takes is a few minutes a day to breathe and hear the whisper. “Don’t feed me milk anymore, it makes me sick inside” sounds like cramping and bloating. “I’m scared of failing” sounds like tightness in the chest. However your body talks to you, it is trying to have a conversation with you all the time but you won’t hear it if you’re not taking the time to be still and listen.
The more we pay attention to life, the louder the heartbeat and the closer to the groove we get. We attract our desires quicker because we are not in the way. We are going with life’s flow and not against it. The more we allow life to unfold organically, the more blessings we receive. The more we slow down and listen, the more grace has a chance to unfold in our lives.
Slowing down means adopting a simpler life but not in the terms of playing smaller, necessarily. As a matter of fact, the simpler the lifestyle I adopted the more profound my life became.
There is a depth that you can attain when life becomes simple; there is a connection to all living things that becomes so strong it’s almost palpable. Peace and joy become the norm.
Simple embodies a softness which the Tao says overrides the hardest of all things.
I believe ‘simple’ can be found in many variations and forms. As I continue my energy-clearing work and release past hurts and fears, my cellular structure restores itself. There is a simplicity found in the awesomeness of one’s natural state. The removal of blockages allows for the chi or energy to flow freely through and around our bodies. The more blockages we have the more complex and complicated our lives become.
Another form of ‘simple’ is found in the food we eat. The closer to its natural source, the higher the life force. The more processed it is, the more complex the ingredient list is on the back of the packaging.
Complex food leads to dis-ease in our bodies. Dis-ease in our bodies leads to complications in our health.
The accumulation of ‘stuff’—the need to fill our lives up with ‘more’, the unwillingness to let go of things—leads us away from simplicity street and stuck in complicated court.
Simple goes hand in hand with ease. It allows room for a breath. It creates a cavity for grace to play in. In this space we let go of the ‘push, push’ energy and take hold of a ‘divine pull’ that lifts us up and carries us along.
This ‘divine pull’ is like a magnetic force shield, a cosmic dance that takes place once we slow down long enough to feel the rhythm.
It’s like the cosmos is offering you a free ride; you just need to sit back and trust it. The only effort you need to exert is the effort required for you to slow down. The rest is effortless.
The result is you become more productive; you think clearer. You are far more creative; you attract all that you need into your life. You lose the perception of chronological time and shift to eternal time. This time frame knows not of minutes or hours, it only knows of simple vibration. It is not about reaching your goals this year or in three to five years’ time. It can happen in an instant the moment we let go of the struggle, stress and fatigue, and tap into the Pace of Grace.
My husband loves acronyms so together we came up with one for this chapter. F.A.S.T.E.R. It’s a guide on how to get to where we need to be faster by actually slowing down.
The ‘F’ stands for Flow not Force
My husband, Ian, was trying to lock down a meeting with a person who he thought would be instrumental in getting one of our company initiatives off the ground. Try as he may, this person was being elusive. No matter what he did he continued to get the brush-off. After a while Ian became frustrated that it was taking so long and he was starting to get disheartened that it may never happen.
One day, on a walk with our dogs, I explained that I felt there was this forced contraction in his energy, a tightness around his body when he talked about this person. When we hold onto something so tight we don’t allow any room for God to do His thing, it’s like we squeeze the life right out of it.
We did a process called tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique: EFT. I use this process all the time for clearing blocked energy from the past and de-stressing. I talk about it at length in chapter 14.
At the start of the tapping his anxiety around this situation was a 7.8 out of 10. As we tapped he started to relax to where he felt no anxiety whatsoever. Exactly 2.5 hours later, the secretary of the woman whom Ian had tried for months to get a meeting with emailed and asked if he was available for a meeting that Wednesday at 1 p.m.
All we did was take all of the forceful energy away from the situation, which allowed a flow effect to come in and take over.
There is a difference between doing all that you can to make something happen and forcing it to happen. It comes down to the emotion and energy behind the action. Force has an emotion of fear around it; flow has an energy of trust and surrender.
Fear constricts and vibrates at a lower frequency than trust or surrender. Law of attraction operates to the frequency you are vibrating at. When we choose our desires and attach fear what we get is a lot of complicated setback. If we attach faith that says “this or something better” and surrender from the outcome we can come into alignment with the ‘divine pull’, which in turn leads us to the best possible result.
The ‘A’ stands for Attract don’t Advertise
Anyone in business knows that advertising can cost an arm and a leg. In the beginning of starting up the day spa I spent thousands on advertising in papers and magazines. I remember we ran an advertisement in the local paper and cancelled our lunch date with friends because we had to sit by the phone to answer all of the calls that would come in. We didn’t receive one call.
Now advertising can work for some businesses and there are many places to advertise but what we eventually found out was attraction is a whole lot cheaper and easier.
That’s why it’s called the law of attraction, not the law of advertising. It’s free. There is no need to make something look better than it is. There is no call for discounts or bright shiny lights.
Attraction works by being completely and utterly authentic. Simplicity is its calling card, effortlessness its landing page.
The ‘S’ stands for Slow not Stressed
When we are stressed our bodies go on heightened alert. Our hearts race, our pulses quicken, blood pressure rises, adrenals go on full alert and cortisol is released throughout the body. All the body’s defence systems are preparing to go into fight, flight or freeze. There is major activity going on and this is happening continually throughout the day.
Chronic stress is when our bodies are in an allostatic overload and cannot achieve homeostasis. We cannot attain to a natural state of wellbeing.
When we slow down long enough to allow awareness to dwell within the tissues and cells of our bodies, we become in tune with this imbalance. We sense that hormonally and chemically we are out of alignment and we are intuitively led down the path to our healing.
Our bodies tell us what we need; they talk to us all the time. If we can just listen with the ears of unapologetic love for ourselves we would choose differently. Stress would give way to wisdom, which would carry us forward into a new era of nurturing and self-care.
The ‘T’ is for Tapped In not Tuned Out
Abraham Hicks talks about this all the time: being tuned in to our bodies. This is what slowing down is all about. It allows us to sense exactly what it is we need to do to get to where we need to be faster.
When our bodies are compromised by too many toxins and chemicals our organs need to focus all their energy on trying to repair and restore. There is no room left for thriving. Dreams take a back seat to just making it through the day. We literally cannot find the station we need to tune in to because there is too much white noise and static in the way.
When our minds are so scattered, focused on the past or the future and not grounded in the here and now, trying to tap into our guidance system is a total failure. It is like trying to find a program on channel 10 when the television is tuned into channel 7. It just ain’t gonna happen.
By taking the time to restore the body, focusing on the thoughts we are thinking and accessing a higher power, we can tap into the Pace of Grace. Our intuition becomes amplified, our life force magnified and divine potential actualised.
The ‘E’ is for Ease not Effort
There is a difference between ease and easy. We all experience times when something is easy. No effort required and no resistance experienced. When someone is travelling at the Pace of Grace, life is not always easy but there is an ease associated with it.
Does this mean that there won’t be hard times, loss, sorrow or pain? No. Does it mean that you won’t have to work in order to achieve your desires? No. Does it mean that you will get everything you want? No.
By now you’re probably asking, well, just what does it mean, Karina?
It means finding the graceful way through. It means your effort is spent on achieving effortlessness. We must all go through hardship at some point in order to grow. We must all experience loss because that is what it means to be human. We cannot get everything we want but I promise you will get everything you need.
The secret is to find the ease through the dis-ease, the comfort through the discomfort and the heart in the heartache. It’s there if you look; ease will reveal itself with the unfolding of a miracle. The unravelling of a silver lining, and the revealing of a lesson learnt. Ease will soothe the brokenness of a heart by the practice of gratitude. It will look like compassion and feel like forgiveness.
Ease will sometimes seem like the hardest thing to find, yet if you so desire, it will find you. Ease won’t always be easy, it may not necessarily be effortless. But it is always there, waiting for you to choose it.
The ‘R’ is for Restore not Resign
Resigning isn’t the same as surrendering. Resigning feels like you’ve lost, like you are a victim. It’s a defeatist attitude. Surrendering means releasing the attachment to an outcome with a knowing that what will be is for the highest good. It’s not a no, it’s a not now. It’s a comma not a full stop. It’s this or something better.
When we resign ourselves to something it usually means we have given up and accepted what is. I see a lot of people who have resigned themselves to their particular illness or circumstance in life.
When I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and heavy metal toxicity, I could have resigned myself to the fact that I am always going to be tired and feel like shit.
Instead, I resolved to restore my body to its natural state, to do everything in my power to get well. Restoration is bringing something back to life, resigning is like a death. When we restore, we infuse vitality, we embed charisma and soul. In order to speed up your desires you need to restore your life with these characteristics.
This ASAP model of life that we have chosen to make our mantra doesn’t seem to be working for us. The way I see it, it has cheated us out of experiencing absolute wellness, the frustrating delectableness of delayed gratification and the joy of knowing divine potential.
I think it’s time we realised slow is the new ASAP and adopted the F.A.S.T.E.R. approach to slowing down, in order to speed up.
This is an excerpt from the book “The StressLess Revolution – How to live your best life without being Burn Out, Stressed Out, Maxed Out and Checked Out”