Monday, October 24, 2011

Where Are We Rushing To?

Slowing Down

I notice I use words like, "Let me tell you this story real quick."  Or "I'm going to run to the store."  Or I catch myself telling my 3-year-old, "Hurry up, we are going to be late." Or "Come on, Kestan, we gotta get going."

Ick. Tired. Blah. Done.

I'm done with rushing.  I'm making a choice to STOP.  This past week I've practiced every day - walking slower, moving slower, being...slower.  I notice it's pretty hard.  My natural tendency in the morning is to bounce out of bed and start the day with excitement and thoughts of what are we going to do today? And usually if I have a morning plan - say story time, meeting friends for breakfast, doctor's appointment, whatever - there is this feeling of urgency.  WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE IF WE DON'T GET IN THE CAR RIGHT NOW!


Photos by Chris Duh.

And I think it's actually why I hardly ever make plans to be anywhere in the morning (at least before 10) because I can't stand rushing my kids.  So, I've been moving more at their pace.  And yes, it's hard not to say, "Hurry up.  Let's go," especially when I'm ready to move on.  BUT, the more I practice it, the easier it is becoming.

And I'm noticing I actually am more productive and have less irritation when I move slower.  

Doesn't that seem kind of funny?  But think about it, when you are running late to work or getting the kids off to school and you are running all over the house to get ready, isn't that the time when you spill the milk inside the refrigerator or place your keys somewhere that you'll never find again?

Sure, I can still sense my restlessness (Come on already, why does it take you so long to get in your car seat!?)  But, these kids know something.  When you let them lead the way and set the pace, everyone seems a bit more peaceful.


On this day in the woods we spontaneously went out on an adventure.  I left my phone in the car on purpose, mostly to prevent myself from taking more photos (since I'm still clearing clutter and have over 1000 pictures on my phone yet to clear), but I also loved not knowing what time it was.

We played.


We explored.


We let the kids lead the way.


And time stood still.

It just didn't matter what we were doing, where we were going or what time we were going to get there.

Sure, there are many moments in our daily lives when we have to be somewhere at a certain time.  Yet, I'm wondering if we can get there without all the rushing.  Can we move about our day with less urgency, less worry, and less stress about what the future will bring?  Can we find the peace that comes from slowing down?


I guess I'm willing to try.

Your Personal Reflection:  Do you rush through your day with a sense of urgency? Where are you going?  Notice your pace today.  Try walking a little slower wherever you go.  Try breathing a little deeper and fuller.  Notice how that feels when you slooooooooow down.

(Psst...I've posted the dates for my next Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-course.  Registration opens December 5th.  I hope you will slow down and make some space in your life to join us!)


  1. i love your post. it was very inspiring to me. i was sitting, impatiently, waiting for my husband to hurry up so we aren't late for work when i started reading your post. it helped me relax and realize that it really isn't a big deal if we are a few minutes late. thank you!

  2. I love your timing! This weekend Jonathan was gone hunting, so the kids and I were on our own. We took several walks but yesterday's was great. They walked 2.5 miles but we went slow and steady, took breaks when they needed. The trees made golden tunnels and it was so fun to go at the kids' pace. It was so funny to see "G" circling rocks in the path with her finger and catching grasshoppers and "E" find stick after stick he wanted to carry.

  3. Oh my friend, I could have written this blog post! I act exactly the same way, I also hate that and I feel the same way live at my kids' pace. Oh yeah. Fewww! I know I have this little emergency button not far away. So I try to do my very best not to push it and be gentle with everyone around me (me included). Nobody like to be (always) in a hurry! Way to go Shannon! I ditto you!

    M xxx

  4. What a beautiful post Shannon! I'm oh so guilty of saying "hurry up hurry up hurry up!". I cringe when I hear myself say it, but justify it just the same. This was a big reason I requested afternoon Kindergarten for my son this year. It allows us to move slowly in the morning, which is everyone's preference, especially the kids. Your post is an excellent reminder to savor our slower pace as much as possible this year.

  5. Oh my, what a blessing to slow down and BE with nature and your family...thanks for the reminder to breathe a little deeper and slow down. ;)

  6. Oh I SO relate to this post! I love your writing. It drew me right in. xoxo

  7. I love this ;)
    I've always been a fast walker and rushing was just part of my life - my daughter taught me to sloooowwww down when she started to walk - -it's awful but I remember sometimes getting frustrated that we can't just move along..... geez I know - I was a bad mother! lol. But lessons like these, especially in parenting, teach you so much. One of them is to slow down. I'm a different person now - in fact I've learned to slow down too much and now I need to find a bit of balance and know when to be more efficient. However, you'd still hear me say 'hurry up, hurry up'....
    I hate that feeling when I'm in a hurry. Thanks for the reminder of what's really important.

  8. Hi! I found you through Amanda's inspiring women post and I can see why you are on there :) Happy to find you!

  9. I love your slow pace suggestions. I am the kind of mom who lets my little girls wake up when they want to. We even arranged our work schedules so that dad dropped them off at daycare and I picked them up. But since he's not a morning person they had a relaxing morning with cuddle time, an episode of Dora, a big cup of tea, and a yummy breakfast every day. I love that they got bonding time every day and now I'm back on maternity leave and let my girls dictate when they wake up. Some days they join daddy for breakfast and others they don't but that's okay. They are our world and we let them dictate what we do, and I think that's how it should be.

    I also love the not having a phone on your day. I haven't had a watch or phone to tell me the time for years and I am far less stressed about my husband being late to everything. Especially when I don't even know he's late. :)

  10. So happy that I found you from Runninghood. Wow, what a great blog and a post that got me thinking...I do tend to rush and say those same things. That might be the problem with so many of us...always rushing and not taking our time to enjoy the LITTLE moments. Great post...I'm your newest follower and so happy she posted about you so that I found more inspirational bloggers!

  11. YES YES YES :) I'm WITH you! These days - because I'm going through some personal upheaval & change, which is all GOOD - I'm feeling rushed around the edges ALL the time... I constantly feel I need to do something IMPORTANT without knowing WHAT, and I go to bed feeling like I haven't accomplished more than half the stuff on an - IMAGINARY - to-do list! Your post is beautiful... So are the photos! And this is timely... I already know I need to slow down, especially in my head! But this reinforces the message. Thank you for inspiring me :)

    P.S. you look beautiful in burgundy :)

  12. The last photo is my favorite because it feels like it epitomizes what you were saying in the post. Being able to do Adho Mukha Svnaasana like that with Kestan just shouts, "I'm HERE in THIS moment and no other."

    How do you find the balance between this pace and still doing what needs doing. I suppose part of it is doing LESS/saying NO to more. I'll be thinking about this as I go through the rest of my day.

  13. I'm so grateful for each of your comments. Truly, slowing down and finding stillness are so on the forefront on my mind, and yet, so counter to what we are surrounded by on a daily basis. So it is refreshing to find other souls out there with a desire to slow down, too. THANK YOU! xo

  14. such pretty pictures! i love the last one of you in downward dog with kestan going under the bridge you made. this is great self awareness in your life. i must say i don't rush. my husband does. i think i'm lucky because i don't have to rush - very lucky. he is the one who has the outside structure imposed on his life - one i remember all to well from my working days. some people might watch me and say my son is the boss, but i like going his pace very much. it does make life so much easier. for everyone! and when i do have to get us somewhere - there is ample time given before departure. lots of five minutes left of ______... now it's time for ________. i think one of the biggest reasons i'm resisting traditional school for ez is to avoid the race!

  15. I can relate to every single one of your comments. How is "not rushing" going for you all these days? This morning I am planning to hit the grocery store. And I'm going to do my very best to go at a slow pace. We shall see... Happy day!

  16. omg. This is such a resounding theme in my life. When did we start this craziness? probably just increased over time, and I don't think all our 'devices' help. They've increased my impatience and expectancy.... everything's gotta be quick, quick, quick!
    I'm working on the same stuff: just slow down, schedule less and leave some breathing room.
    Let's wish ourselves much luck!


Thanks for sharing!