Blog Share: On Slowing Down
I am hosting the following Blog Share post on behalf of another blogger. You can see the complete list of participants at the end of this post. Also, a shameless promotion: there is still time to enter my County Cork Contest.
I am not a runner. I see Ann is a runner. I am always amazed with runners. They have the ability to move quickly, sprinting, bounding. I have never been built for running. My legs are short, my body is much too heavy and muscular for running. I recall not at all fondly all those years of school being force to run for PE. Four laps around the track, and do it fast! Lord help me, I could never do it. I would take off, best of intentions, and suddenly my body would go into immediate protest and shutdown. My lungs would ache, legs refusing to move. It's a horrible torture, running, for me. I could probably run just enough to get away from someone if my life depended on it (here's hoping) but I really prefer to just.. not run..
So, I see so many people enjoy it. There must be something good about running. It's good for your heart, I am sure, makes you stronger. But I think one thing that running must teach as a lesson is the value of not running. The value of slowing down. Even marathoners talk about that, the value of resting. In yoga (the thing I love the most) we call this Savasana, total rest. For whatever amount of time, you are not running, not working, not trying. Just resting, slowing down.
It's tough, I think to find the value of slowing down. We like speed. In the US (where I live) speed is equal to success. How fast can you accomplish a task? How quickly can you meet a deadline? Everything is about speed. We must be able to communicate instantly, FAST. Our food must be ready quickly, our clothes washed and dried at maximum efficiency. Run the race, do the task, GET IT DONE!!! I often wonder about the cost of all that speed.
I like the idea of taking a day to just slow down. Not work, not email, not write, not exercise. I wonder how different our lives would be if we did this. What would happen? Would our homes fall apart? Would the world grind to a halt? I am sure there are those that would like us to believe those things would happen. But the truth is, it wouldn't. Slowing down is critical for growth. Restoration happens with rest, not effort. Imagine if you never slept. Imagine if all that you did was work and do. Sooner or later, your body would shut down. You may accomplish a great deal, but you would be destroying yourself.
Imagine if we were all well rested. We could love more deeply, give more fully. We would be much more efficient. Perhaps I write this just to teach myself a lesson. Slow down, just for a while. Who knows, you might even be running faster tomorrow because of it.
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