I really didn’t care for “slow” most of my life. In truth, I disdained anything slow. Progress, forward movement, change – these were my values. In that rush to work towards an imagined future free of the turmoil and problems of the current moment, the thought of “slow” was everything I was resisting. And of course we all know, what you resist persists.
Running away from “slow,” upending it, thwarting it by whatever means possible, was indicative of my running away from the realities of my life and psyche. If I could get to the time of improved conditions (though hard work, relentless effort and a whole lot of imagining), the discomfort in my mind would stop. It would have to, conditions would finally be conducive to the real me in all of my undiscovered glory.
Yeah, that never worked.
Why would I even have that expectation? How does one develop such a strategy? I see it now as a cultural affliction. I’m really sad that I’m almost 50 years old and learning what seem to be really basic tenets of health, wellness, and use of the body. Seriously, I’ve been in this body all this time and had such a superficial understanding of how it works, what it needs and what it can do. How is this not elementary level stuff? How is our educational system so focused on the 3 R’s (which totally encapsulates the probem) and so profoundly negligent on necessary information for humans on earth? We have such poor practices in cultivating healthy, thriving humans. This is evidenced by the disarray of our political, social and economic conditions. We literally ignore health (physical, emotional, mental), discernment, cooperation, respect. I mean, look at the children’s game “musical chairs.”
Today I listened to Ken Wilber discuss “The 3 Selves on the Journey to Waking Up and Growing Up” and while I have never been able to make it through one of his books, this presentation was excellent. I have to shift my self-perception a bit from “not a Ken Wilber fan” to perhaps someone who is ready to explore more of his work.
He has 4 areas of attention, Waking Up (spiritual), Growing Up (psychological health), Cleaning Up (shadow work) and Showing Up (service). Within these, we all go through the process of development to as far a stage as we are willing to work towards, including the development from ego-centric, to ethnocentric, to world-centric, to integrated. I would imagine this development as the focus of our educational system would yeild far different results.
You can’t speed through this stuff. We have to go back and sit with whatever it is we are running away from. Sit. Stay. Heal. This is not something that is suggested in our culture. Indeed, I get pretty frustrated by our cultural obsession with individuals whose problems then surprise us (as if anyone doesn’t have problems).
This is not something that is suggested in our culture. Indeed, I get pretty frustrated by our cultural obsession with individuals whose problems then surprise us (as if anyone doesn’t have problems).
I wonder who I would be if I had not developed my fast-paced, conditions-oriented, try to ‘fix it’ orientation in the world. I would certainly be a very different person than the person I am now.
Today is very disjointed writing.
It’s hard for me to believe how much I value slowness now. It’s hard to reconcile with who I used to be, and having to “die to who I was” is really the only way I can fully accept who I am now and am becoming (because it doesn’t really reconcile with who I used to be, as in, that person would’ve hated me. i just feel a lot of compassion for that person).
As I contend with these kinds of thoughts, this kind of disjointed expression and my feelings about how it relates culturally, witness consciousness and deep breathing are really the only helpful strategies. I think I could use another session of meditation today.