Tempo Lento: Choosing the Slow Life

walking alone through a field photo by: Zane Mulligan

There’s been some churning in my brain, a bit of turbulence in my day-to-day, something making me itch. In short: I have a need to turn inward. To cultivate my imaginary world. To focus on my perceptions and the creation of my life. Lately, there have been moments in my days where I am so calm and present that life feels rich and vibrant. I can lay in bed and simply let my mind go—thinking about my day, crafting a deeper understanding of something I read or saw, or imagining new things into being, just as I did when I was four years old. Do you ever let yourself get to that point? A place that is easily perceived as idleness but is actually a font of rich creative material? I feel myself moving that direction, and I need to turn deliberately back to that steady, slow pace, where I thrive.

I've always known that my life rhythm is much slower than the world around me, and before, I always tried to keep up, asking myself why I couldn't do things more quickly, why I couldn't keep the pace. I've realized the answer: It's because that's not my pace. My pace is slow. My speed is singular. My pace is what my parents lovingly (and exasperatedly) dubbed "slower than molasses in the wintertime." That's me! As my interests have moved toward meditation, mindfulness, the way the brain works and how our modern inventions are affecting our bodies and minds, I've started to realize that I like to use daily activities as a meditation. I move slowly. I get lost in thought. I can sit without moving for ages, happily. I know how to assess my current, actual situation, and realize that all the things I could worry about—past, present, or future—really have no bearing on how I am being at that very moment. It's satisfying.

But when I'm trying to keep someone else's pace, I lose all of that. My thoughts shoot off in a million directions and that contented, satisfied self that's really me gets left behind in the dust of 'what ifs' and 'maybes' and 'if onlys.'

Why am I saying this to you?

I'm taking a break from Keep It Lit. I love talking lit-loves with you and stretching our creative selves every which way, and I need now to turn inward and work my slow-paced magic on myself. This comes with a deadline for the trial period.

I will be back here August 24—one month from now—with a fresher mind and an enriched outlook.

If you're so inclined, take a break with me. Allow yourself to rest. Let your creative brain soak in its own magical juices for a while, and see what you come up with. Turn off your phone. Take a meandering walk. Lose yourself in thought as you do the dishes. And one month from now, report back on how you're feeling once you've had four weeks of rest.

Now get outta here. And work that slow magic.

Yours in deliberateness,

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