Slowing

beyond control 3

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The world we live in now is a world stuck in fast-forward.

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A world obsessed with speed, with doing everything faster, with cramming more and more into less and less time.

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Every moment of the day seems like a race against the clock.

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To borrow a phrase from Carrie Fisher, “These days, even instant gratification takes too long.”

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And if you think about how we try to make things better, what do we do?

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Well, we speed them up, don’t we?

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We used to dial; now we speed-dial.

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We used to read; now we speed-read.

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We used to walk; now we speed-walk.

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We used to date; now we speed-date…. 

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We’re so marinated in the culture of speed that we fail to notice the toll it takes on every aspect of our lives — on our health, our diet, work, our relationships….

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12-2-12 -- Carl Honore

~ From

Carl Honore praises

slowness (19:18).

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(2012) 12-2 -- 168. Be mindful how you approach time (no caption)

Be mindful how you approach time.  Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise.  
~ Sophia Bedford-Peirce

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Beyond Control is a collection of articles, talks, interviews and whatnot illustrating how different people practice the three alternatives to control – surrender, responsibility and intimacy.  
Read more about the alternatives here: 
 

7 responses to “Slowing

  • Vital Simplicity

    Hi Steve, Thank you for this. I find myself slowing down more and more, yet also find it a continual challenge of working to adjust my internal mechanisms as I work to simplify my physical existence. I find it fascinating yet a bit perplexing that something so natural and healthy can take so much energy and concentrated effort to establish, maintain and defend.

    • Steve Hauptman

      I envy you, Julie. Lately when I slow down it’s less by choice than due to exhaustion. But I find it more disturbing than perplexing.

      As I see it, our poor bodies are the battleground for the ancient struggle between nature and nurture.

      Nature (speaking through our physical feelings, emotions, intuition and, when necessary, our symptoms) says “Take care of yourself.”

      Nurture (i.e., the socialized part of us, which chatters at us via monkey mind) says “You’re not adequate as you are. Try harder. Keep trying. Never stop.”

      Nurture’s not very nurturing. But for most of us, it speaks with the louder voice.

  • Vital Simplicity

    You make me chuckle, even when you say serious stuff. I think that’s refreshing and healing. I actually had to go to a different country to slow down. I agree with “disturbing”. Will add that as a parallel adjective. You know what helped me? One day I decided that I was slower, different than other people. “Special.” Others (OK, a lot of others) might call it weird. I chose to go the nurturing route in labelling myself. I decided that actually functioning for me was a challenge and threw the “being important” or “being valuable or worthy” internal push out the window. My goal became to function peacefully and responsibly as a human being. I “let go and let God,” because I realized that my way wasn’t only working, but it royally SUCKED and was making me miserable. I focus so much on simplicity for survival reasons. It’s either simplicity and being true to myself or depression and misery and confusion. So I gave myself permission to blaze my own eccentric, weird, non-conventional trail — and now I am me and I love me. It’s been such a long time coming. I’m not in la-la land or anything, but there is a sense of continual self-compassion, self-understanding and pacing. My pace is so much slower that what it seems everyone else’s is, but it’s who I am and it satisfies me tremendously. Satisfaction. That word seems to be a cornerstone for me….. I love what you share and how you go about it. I think you will get tired of slowing down due to exhaustion, and then you’ll start doing it proactively because it makes sense internally. What you wrote: “Nurture (i.e., the socialized part of us, which chatters at us via monkey mind) says “You’re not adequate as you are. Try harder. Keep trying. Never stop.” … is so true. I call that the “people pleasing” demon. By the way, your mere expressing of yourself and your thoughts is highly valuable and healing and am amazing service to mankind. You make a difference in my life and contribute to my healing and growth and strength and courage and insights/wisdom on a regular basis. Just so you know. 🙂

    • Steve Hauptman

      Thank you, Julie. That’s nice to hear, especially since comments here have largely dried up and I find myself reevaluating my whole approach to teaching this stuff. (Or as Bert says, “You’re not adequate. Try harder.”)

      My favorite part: “It’s either simplicity and being true to myself or depression and misery and confusion. So I gave myself permission to blaze my own eccentric, weird, non-conventional trail.”

      That’s not weirdness. It’s courage.

  • Vital Simplicity

    Thank you, Steve. You approach is amazing. Please don’t base it on feedback. That sounds weird, right? Anyway, you’re on to something great and any therapist who can be authentic and vulnerable and honest — and comedic and entertaining to boot — is super super valuable and needed in the world. Maybe I haven’t commented much on your blog because of feeling intimidated because you’re a therapist. Maybe other people are the same and take it all in without commenting… yet value what they receive from you like I do. I don’t get many comments on my blog, but I’m down with it. Those who do write provide juicy stuff, so that’s really cool. I say thought- and action-provoking quality over quantity any day.

  • Cara

    Thankyou so very much for your website, and for the comments. I found Monkeytraps via a comment on Facebook and Im back here again today – making notes this time, as I know they will help me. Im a Mum of two boys,a wife and I work,and my head drives me nuts so its hard to truly relax and justify to my head how I spend my time, so I soaked up what was written above. My head drives me with too many things to do in a day,expectations and nagging and constant reminders of what I havent yet done, and will probably never get to do, which leads to frustration etc etc.. I have been able to make my own schedule today- tho still a struggle in my head to justify it & let myself off the hook, as work was cancelled due to flooding& road closures, so my agenda hadnt been preset by my head for what has now been a day off. I have been thinking so much recently about how we all have feelings we hide from, defend, and self medicate to try and protect and cover up…..and really cant believe how much it effects things…..Many thanks, be encouraged to keep doing what you’re doing. A few points you’ve made are the same as what Ive heard from our counsellor, so that reinforces the same message again to me – like i need to pay attention to that point again. You’re helping me on my journey toward peace in my head and peace in my heart, Im soaking it up like a sponge, plus Im telling my friends……a few of them are like me…..hmm

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