Among the many things this present global pandemic is teaching us, a slower approach to living is one of them. Though I am enjoying and going with the flow of the this slow living energy (though having a one year old speeds that slower pace up a little) I am certainly not new to this way of life. If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll have read on more then one occasion that I suffer with ME/CFS/Epstein-Barr, whatever it is or choose to refer to it as and have done so since the age of eleven. Anyway, when I was first unwell I was wheelchair bound and then for twenty years of my life I have had bouts of being bed ridden, sometimes days, sometimes weeks and sometimes months at a time. On my best days I still feel unwell but i’m lucky enough to have the energy to get on with things, though this also is due to looking after my body and mind, staying determined and trying my best to maintain a positive attitude. What contributes most to my day to day living through my time of living with ME is my appreciation and dedication to a slower pace of life. There have been times in my life where i’ve struggled to accept this slower approach and even rebelled and normally to my own peril but ultimately, the slow pace is something I have had no choice but to get on board with.
Slow living, is about choosing to not go so hard at everything and knowing when your body needs rest and rejuvenating and not trying to do everything, be everything and please everyone simultaneously. This was a hard lesson for me to learn, i’m naturally competitive, instinctively hard working and I’ve never liked saying no to anyone or hearing it from anyone for that matter! Even now I have to remind myself from time to time why the mental rewiring has been imperative to my health and wellbeing. I know my circumstances aren’t everyones but I believe the logic and practices can apply to all. We often put our body through stress and strain, overdoing it mentally, psychically and emotionally, trying to be perfectionists to others but mostly to ourselves and then wearing it like a badge of honour. We loose touch with our spiritual selves and even if you don’t consider yourself spiritual that’s okay, when I say spiritual selves, i’m meaning in reference to our connection with life’s simple pleasures, such as taking time to be in nature and reminding ourselves of its beauty and mystery. Also our ability to just be in quiet contemplation with ourselves, listening to our own thoughts with out distraction from our ego, which can be so easily inflated when we live a fast paced life and not taking the time to check in on mental level.
When we accept this and choose to approach life with a slower, more peaceful energy we remember what it is that lights us up inside, to feel that childlike sense of joy that may have been forgotten whilst distracted with chaotic flow of gym, work, rushing, people pleasing, being online, comparing our lives to the lives of others and so on. One way or another living life where we’re trying to do everything at a hundred miles an hour causes burn out, whether that is mentally, physically or spiritually just that feeling of constantly trying to keep up.
I’ve learnt not to compare my slow paced life with the faster pace lives of others because I know I have been given a gift of being able to appreciate the present moment, i’ve been able to work on healing a lot of destructive generational problems and used what could be perceived as an anchor to hold me down, as a stand to lift me up and gain a perspective on life that I am grateful for. I hope once this period in our lives is over that we will continue on with what we have learnt and approach life with a more gentle and considerate attitude to our wellbeing and take time to appreciate what we have.
I hope I haven’t bored you too much today. The wrap dress i’m wearing is old and I layered it over a turtleneck during the transitional weather we had at the beginning of April.
Sending you love and light,