In this episode, I'm talking about the incredible power of slowing down along the healing path. I share why it's so challenging for us to slow down when we've grown up in dysfunctional families, what the signs are that we're moving too fast, and the benefits of slowing down.
I also share one important tool that I personally use for slowing down.
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Today i’m going to talk to you about a crucial crucial element to healing your life. Healing past pain and trauma -even very very deep trauma. And moving your life forward. And that is the power of slowing down.
So many of you guys and my clients who have been on their healing journey for many many years and feel stuck and feel like they’re not making progress it’s because of this lack of ability to truly slow down and move through the process of healing your life.
High performers, high achievers are so used to just pushing at life - hacking away at it, being successful and getting everything done and sort of barraging their way through life to prove that they are not defined by their painful past - to prove that they can do it, that they are worthy and that they are enough.
And I work with my clients and I see how they’ve got all these ideas about how they’re not healing fast enough and it’s not working fast enough and they’ve read hundreds of books and taken programs and they believe that they are completely incapable of healing and that’s not the case.
The problem is the addiction in the system to pushing and forcing and coping and just pushing past things - that did work for a while - but now it’s time to let it go if we want to truly heal and learn what it means to slow our lives way way down so that we can EXPERIENCE our lives - our bodies - our emotional world and really re-connect with ourselves on a deep level.
It’s so important to stop looking for quick fixes - to stop pushing yourself and telling yourself you’re not doing it right and there’s something wrong with you and just. Slow. down and embrace the process of change.
When you do this - when you practice this and learn how to do this - you WILL experience quantum leaps in your life that are not powered by will power and aggression and gritting your teeth - but you will experience change that is authentic and real and change that you can trust in your life to move you forward consistently.
Learning to really have high-quality thoughts about healing and changing and approaching it with a solution focus will really help you stay the course and not quit on the process when you feel like it’s “taking too long”
Why We Feel Afraid to Slow Down
Survival - growing up in unsafe environments primes our brains and bodies to be on high alert. To conserve resources. To rush. To shut down. To shrink. To minimize. To make ourselves and our lives small.
For me - I always felt like I had to stay out of my mother’s sight because she was so filled with rage and criticism so for me I felt I always had to be in a hurry to do things before she would come into the room or before she would see me because I felt like I needed to stay out of her way.
This compulsion to rush causes us to run over ourselves and our true thoughts and feelings because we are living from a place of fear, scarcity and survival. Even to the level of our physiology where our brains and bodies are constantly hyper alert for danger.
And if you think about your life being threatened right - which is the experience of trauma in which there is a threat and danger of loss of life - if you think about the incredible fear and terror and shame that a child feels when their parent abandons them, emotionally neglects them, rages at them, right.
So when there’s this deep fear of death - there is no time. Because if we’re about to die - we don’t have time to sit down and breathe - we don’t have time to rest and recuperate and recover because we’ve always got to be on the look out for that next thing that’s going to threaten our lives or cause us deep pain and suffering.
And so when we don’t form safe bonds with others inside our home - our parents or our siblings because they’re not there or they are abusive. When we don’t experience the feeling of being hugged of being seen and validated and asked how we are and being soothed by our parents being lovingly guided by our parents. If we live in fear of them - what ends up happening is that we also live in fear of our own emotional world because there is literally no time to feel our feelings. And not only that - it is threatening to feel our feelings because you make yourself a target for abuse or you open yourself up to the threat of the attachment bond breaking and being abandoned.
And so many of us are living our adult lives in a rush - conserving - being scarce - shrinking - trying to stay out of sight trying to rush to the results we want and not realizing that what we are doing is actually robbing ourselves of the true experience of living life in a state of fully experiencing it.
We are re-enacting that horrible traumatic loop of our childhood homes - not realizing that the past is over. That now there IS time. That no one is over our shoulder. That we’re not living with those parents anymore - we are not living in those unsafe homes anymore and now it is safe to slow down and build awareness and evaluate our situation and process our emotions and set goals and take time to be with ourselves and rebuild or build for the first time a beautiful relationship with ourselves where we’re not rushing ourselves and torturing ourselves and perpetuating these traumatic loops from our unsafe homes. We now have the opportunity to change how we live our lives. To learn how to experience peace and joy and rest. To learn how to be with uncomfortable feelings without escaping and abandoning ourselves. To teach our nervous systems to come out of survival mode and begin to live from an embodied and clear and confident place rather than from a fearful and shut down place.
It’s important to understand that you might not even RECOGNIZE - like it may never even have occurred to you that you are doing this to yourself that you’re torturing yourself. It might not even occur to you the amount of deep pain and hurt that is within you from this constant barrage of survival stress and critical shame rushing and pushing that’s happening within your brain and body. And so if you’re just recognizing when you’re listening to this that this is what you’re doing - really be compassionate with yourself. Understand that you have the power to stop this pattern. Recognize that you have the ability to break this loop and heal at the deepest level. So you’re not trapped here. And slowing your life down and slowing your nervous system down and your brain down will really help you see all the ways your life and your relationship with yourself and your goals and dreams and your work has been affected by this rushing behaviour that comes from survival.
And when we take the time to slow our lives down - we gain incredible power to change and move forward and heal in a very real way.
Some signs that you are going too fast through life
- You may not even recognize that you’re rushing through your life
-I don’t have enough time to feel - to try that new thing - to sit down and build awareness and journal and meditate
- I don’t have enough money to work on myself and hire support or take that class or do that thing.
- you say things like - wow anxiety just hits me and the thoughts just come rushing in and I can’t stop them
- You constantly look for a quick fix - you struggle to stick with a modality or a process to help your life even when it is working
- you have thought loops that are cruel and demeaning toward yourself
- You struggle to connect with your body - you feel disconnected as if you’re watching your life through a glass pane.
- You have all or nothing thinking (you go super hard on new routines using willpower and motivation and then you crash and burn)
-You experience intense bouts of depression and anxiety that last a while and then you feel okay (cyclical pattern)
- Compulsively consuming self-help content
- You feel a sense of pressure that never goes away
- You are always looking for the next thing
The Benefits of Slowing Down
You actually end up moving faster
You discover your own ability to be resilient - to move through emotions and find the answers within yourself
You gain focus and clarity
You are able to identify the cause to problems rather than just trying to hack away at the symptoms
You create lasting change rather than cycles of stops and starts
You heal your relationship with yourself
You grow your trust in yourself to be able to handle life
You experience less exhaustion and more energy
You create space in your physiological system - your nervous system that was previously clogged up
You’re able to enjoy the progress you are making
You end up actually achieving your goals.
One tip to start slowing down
I believe that the morning is the most important time for this. Your morning and your night time will really help you.
And I love the routine of waking up to do nothing.
This is such a crucial part of my morning routine that makes all the difference in my day.
Temptation to rush through the day and re-enact the same cycle.
But to break the loop you’ve got to stop and smell the roses and the rats.