Image by Luis Llerena

Like a runaway train, my mind goes at speed! I wonder what life would be like if I was able to actuate even half of the amazing (or, at times, not so amazing) ideas that I produce. The truth is, in order to make things happen I need something other than speed, something to allow fruition. I need to stop.

Lately, I’ve been practicing suggestions in Deepak Chopra’s book Perfect Weight. The one that has really gotten me so far is eating at a measured pace. Now, I certainly wouldn’t want you all to think I just scarf my food down….but, chewing something fully, and breathing before I take the next bite, has put me in mind of how often I really do scarf my food down, so I can run right on to the next thing. The question that comes up is – why? And I also wonder, if rushing here isn’t such a wonderful thing, where else in my life am I failing to take time to savor, to digest?

Looking at my day I can see I’m taking breaks, but often still rushing. If I’m not zipping from one thing to the next I wonder if I’m doing “enough”. I feel like a time-worrying, breathless Chicken Little “No time, No time!!” And maybe a part of me thinks the sky will fall too if I slow down.

I understand the grace of taking time to really invest myself in a project or event, not thinking of time as I just allow myself to be a part of the process. It’s delicious! I love to celebrate “wins”, small and large, as I move from one project or task to another. But somehow, at some point my old ways of being, my old ways of thinking, my rushing Chicken Little mind jump in and send me off on a fearful chase.

The practice of taking time to chew, taste, look at, and enjoy (or not) my food has been eye-opening for me. I realize sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and that sends me to rushing, but the main issue is I don’t always allow myself the time or space to process things before I move on. It’s true I have a lot to do; it’s true I have many tasks to accomplish each day. But it’s not true that I need to hurry so much that I never acknowledge what I’ve done, or taken in, and give it time to nourish me. And when I feel more time crunched – then I become more time crunched.

I also see how rushing can keep me from taking action on things I really want to do, on big ideas I have. Because, these things take time. Thinking something through, and taking steps, and learning new things all take time. When I feel rushed I don’t always allow myself to invest in all the lovely steps of contemplation, planning, learning, savoring, adjusting, etc.

So my new practice is to savor, be aware of, appreciate, and enjoy my food, but also my life! I’ll complete a thought before I move on to the next (Ha! Well, sometimes.). I’ll breathe before I run to the next thing. I’ll even STOP completely and just take note of where I am right now and celebrate that. What I’ve learned from eating with more awareness is this: I have a greater appreciation of my food and my time, a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t for me; I’ve noticed that there are foods I eat regularly, but I really don’t enjoy them, so I can adjust my eating to be more healthy and enjoyable; and when I invite peace and pleasure to the table I feel much better – rested, fulfilled, nourished on so many levels – not just filled up. This is a delicious investment of time! And these lessons can apply to any area of life where I’m rushing around like a crazy chicken.

When I begin to rush again, and likely I will, I’ll recall these benefits, these lessons, and ask myself what is true. Is it true that rushing will enhance this blog post? Is it true that it will enhance my enjoyment of my work? Is it true I’ll get more done? Is it the kind of “done” that I value?

I know when I slow down things go better, and smoother, and are so much more delicious! Are there places in your life where you would feel much better if you stopped and invested your time to appreciate and enjoy? I’d love to hear about it and cheer you on!