Rejuvenation in the Age of Speed

This post is one meant to spawn a discussion – perhaps an inner discussion, or perhaps a community conversation about finding an inner life rhythm that supports health, and allows for respite, rest and rejuvenation in today’s busy world.

First, as I contemplated all of this, I was struck by how much this rhythm depends on my ability to tap into the deep well of my heart.

If I run at the pace that the culture demands it tends to be too fast to tap into the depths of who I am. I find myself running on surface reserves which ultimately run out. It is mandatory that I slow down enough, periodically, to refill the deep aquifers of who I am.

I was working recently with a colleague who has a schedule similar to mine and here is what he had to say.

“If I slow down, I have to sit with the places in my life where I am unhappy. And then, I thought about sitting with the places in my life where I am happy, and I am not really ‘being with’ them either,  because I am constantly running – under the surface of course – no one else would know but me – however, it ultimately means adrenal activation and then exhaustion.”

As we dropped into the issue deeper and deeper, he realized that the first step is recognition of the problem. Because it is easy to fool ourselves initially, when we are really good at doing extreme self-care in order to over-function – in order to function at what I call “full capacity” all the time. It is sneaky, because it does not catch up with you for a while. You can even be lulled into thinking you have it all under control (always a bad sign.)

However, when you are running at full capacity, (even with excellent self-care), and things around you start to fall apart – loved ones with illnesses beyond your control, over committing yourself in your community or family without thinking about it, children or parents with special needs, disappointments that really cut deep for some reason, loss of work or income that puts financial stressors into the system – all of these can cause an overload that only someone with super human capacity could tolerate. And none of us is super human…

So today I want to leave you with some thoughts on this issue:

Recognition of the pattern is key. Nothing happens before you recognize that you are over-functioning. Then different choices can be made. Think about it. Perhaps journal about it. Let me know what your experience is…

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