For years I've been running at high octane, living a full, fast-paced life. It used to be fun: adrenaline rushes and all of that. But for quite a little while now I've been getting the message to slow down. To slow waaaaaay down.
Slowing down is easier said than done. I was starting to feel like a person stuck in an airplane bathroom: unable to open the door because I was in my own way.
If you, too, are feeling overbooked and under-rested, overwhelmed and undernourished, then I invite you to consider slowing down. And to do that, allow me to introduce Holes.
Holes are moments in which you have nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no stimuli to fill the silence.
Holes can be terrifying.
We as a group have gotten sort of nuts about allowing no holes whatsoever. Thanks to smart phones, TVs absolutely everywhere, and a sort of entitled connectedness, most of us live in a state of non-stop noise. I completely include myself in this group. Holes, on the other hand, are quiet. You might get up and do something, but it’s probably better not to.
So this is what holes are looking like for me. First, I have been setting aside fifteen minutes a day to meditate, which, by the way, I hate. Hate. But it creates space for my suffocated mind.
Second, when I’m in a drive-through line anywhere, I do not get out my phone. I have had to throw my phone in the back seat to avoid getting it out, and then I sit in line wondering if I have time to get it back, but I don’t.
Third, I’m overestimating how long errands take, and underestimating how many I can accomplish. That way I end up with an extra twenty minutes here and there. When that happens, as it did the other day, I occasionally let myself just sit there. You heard me. Just. Sit. There.
Taking advantage of holes has an immediate effect. I’m so used to powering forward on force of will, that you’d think it would take a while for my gears to mellow out. Au contraire! Just one or two holes in a day re-tunes the whole day's tenor. I feel calmer, gentler, and more peaceful. I feel like I can get the important stuff done, and even better, I’m already starting to question just what is really important.
I have a long way to go on my journey to slow, but I’m clear that there lies serenity.
I think I’ll go create a hole and see what else wants to fall into it. I invite you to create a few holes too.