Step 50 – Slow Down (Daga). Speed Detox

I just had a few days off. And I was so excited about these days off that I have been coming up with different ideas on how to spend them. I had new ideas almost every day before that week finally arrived. And when it arrived… I froze. I was shocked by my body reaction, but it actually froze. Instead of relaxing, I caught myself being tense. I don’t remember having a week off for myself in NY – I don’t think it ever happened so far. So when it finally did happen, I …just got confused. And it took me a few days to realize what caused my reaction.

Usually, when I have a few days off, I go somewhere. That means that I keep my mind occupied since all my senses are awake and ready to explore. But this time I stayed in the environment I know, I wasn’t exposed to new experiences. I live in NY, so I can experience something new every day, of course, but in general – I stayed at the same apartment, I used the same subway system, I even went to the same places and met with the same people; that means that nothing changed overall. And I realized that my body is not used to being idle in NY. It’s not used to slowing down. I always liked a fast pace of living and I like to keep myself busy and active. I just really like being “productive” – and it was always like that. I thought I changed the past two years though, but apparently, I haven’t and that’s something that hit me really hard lately. I don’t only keep myself busy, but I think I even speeded up without noticing that. It took me two days to change my approach. I decided that instead of making the list I had prepared for myself in my head, I will just simply… do nothing. Including not even working out (and I usually work out 4 times a week). After two days, I started noticing that my body was letting go and that the tension was going down. I was going to coffee shops, watching people, meeting my friends – every day a different person – and writing. After five days on my “speed detox”, I finally felt relaxed. My body did let go. 

The entire experience made me think. Because of my pace, I’m sure I’m missing out on many things. But not only that – I exhaust my body, which all the time is trying to keep up with me. It doesn’t mean that I will completely zen out right now, but something has to change. And it’s not because this lifestyle doesn’t make me happy. It does – I wouldn’t live that way if it didn’t make me smile. Something has to change because I don’t think it’s natural to have your mind spin around all the time or to feel guilty every time you sit down and don’t do anything. And this is how I always feel when I let myself loosen up.  Yes, I am ambitious, and I want to achieve great things, but I think that there is a better way to do it. I finally understood that those days when I don’t do anything are just as important as the days when I have full speed ahead and work for 14 hours straight. I realized that a day shouldn’t be considered “a good day” just because it was productive. Here is the alignment that revealed itself to me: we do need both kind of days, these “lazy” and the productive ones. They are equally important and necessary. Our bodies and minds can’t constantly run and move forward; they have to stop and reflect once in a while. Otherwise, you will always feel this huge gap within you that you would desperately try to fill up. You can’t fill it up if you’re constantly chasing the void. You have to slow down. I have to slow down. I thought that having my hour of not doing anything in a coffee shop once or twice a week would be enough. No, it’s not. It doesn’t mean that I suddenly stop working or working out, I just have to be more careful with what I want my life to be. And I want mine to be full – and that, to me, means: balanced. I know that all these achievers say to push harder, to work harder, to thrive, but you know what…? I think I prefer to have a longer journey to my goal and be happy about it than to die on a finish line.