Last week I was driving to an appointment and I came across a section of backroad that had a speed trap camera. I knew in advance and slowed down to a painful creep. I absolutely loathed every second I had to inch along waiting again until I could speed up. I wasn’t in a particular rush to get anywhere but somehow there’s a part of me that felt restricted by only moving at 25 mph and I resented having to slow down.
It reminded me of my entire life. I am not one to be slow — anything. I talk quickly, I eat quickly, I work quickly. Not sloppily— but efficiently and with purpose. What is on the other side of what I’m currently doing that needs focus more than the present? I don’t know– but that’s how I move. Like I’m in a race and to slow down means to lose momentum and ground — and fall behind. Like laziness is going to catch me like a deadly virus if I stop. And when I get too fast, too quick, too “future-focused”, life surprises me with a speed trap.
Divorce. Dis-entangling my life from another’s — was a slow, painful process. I wanted to skip steps— be at the end and feel good and have that part of my life boxed up in my life’s closet’s top shelf– where it can stay neatly contained and unseen. Ha! Just like the speed trap feels like an eternity– so are the messy parts when life forces us to slow down and be still. The desire to drive as fast as I could through the most painful parts was my instinct. And yet, the universe knew that all the learning, all the growth, all the good juicy stuff of awareness & change would come in the slow center. Slowness is a gift of self-care if we are willing to lean in to its pace.
Instead of waiting for life’s speed trap– can we take a few moments to slow down now– in the here and now to listen in on our lives? What are we missing when we do—when we go—- when we speed up? What does our life want to whisper to us today?
I’m going to create my own speed trap each Sunday. Part of my day will be devoted to doing nothing, being still and going at a turtle’s pace. I challenge you to find a space in your life too.