In high school I found a pack of cards with quotes on them, mostly “Carpe Diem” to “When Life Gives You Lemons…” kind of stuff. But one of them said, “The oldest wisdom in the world tells us man can consciously unite with God whilst in the body. For that man is truly born.” That concept was so foreign but so enticing, it became the fascination of my life. So, “Waking Up” has long been my objective.
Slowing Down, on the other hand, is relatively new to me. The concept was abhorrent to my younger self. Speed, efficiency and activism were my values, and I was relatively adept. But, in 2010 I had a serious health crisis.
To say I needed to change to effectuate healing in my life is the epitome of understatement. My habits and self-concept today are so radically different than what I had cultivated during the bulk of my adolescence and adulthood they have little resemblance. But “who I am” is, obviously, the same. In fact, my habits and self-concept have had to evolve to be in harmony with “who I am” in order for the healing to begin. Surprisingly, this has also corresponded with a significant deepening in my “waking up” practices. Concepts long held in my mind finally found root in my body, and while this is certainly not the picture I held in my head of what the process would look like, I can only say slowing down and waking up correlate dramatically for me.
I have joked that this disease just required me actually accomplishing my New Year’s Resolutions (better diet, more exercise, more rest, etc), but in ways it is not joking. By design or by choice, and usually somewhat slow on the uptake, I am becoming a more balanced and grounded person with wildly more healthful and sustainable habits. This shift for the better hasn’t always been obvious (for example, vegetarianism was important to me and my concept of my self and my values, and then I went on the AIP). Allowing myself to grow past my perception of myself may specifically be the most important transition of all.