The brake, or the accelerator – which is best? Well both (or either actually) in the right situation!
Do you ever feel like the world is passing you by? Are things moving way too fast? Are you stuck in the slow-lane?
Is the fast-forward button permanently pressed down? Do you wonder where the days have gone? Do you worry where (precious) moments have been lost?
We all have times in our life when it seems like time itself is out of whack – the clock has gone crazy.
In slower times we may feel like we are missing out on all the action, that WE AREN’T MAKING THE MOST OF LIFE.
In busier times we may have no time to relax and just BE, and so feel like WE AREN’T MAKING THE MOST OF LIFE.
Enjoy the journey, forget the schedule
MAKING THE MOST OF LIFE means enjoying the journey through slower and faster times, in each and every moment, along each and every mile.
Balancing yin and yang, the slow and fast, doesn’t have to mean putting your life on cruise control, so that you travel through it at a constant speed. Boring!
Balance can allow for faster times when there’s little traffic and all the lights seem to go green for you, and slower times, when you actually appreciate the opportunity to pause at the red lights (believe me sometimes you really do – I have been known to manage both lipstick and mascara while stopped in traffic!).
Act from stillness not in haste
Ideally we get to have slower ‘yin’ times to ponder, plan and prepare, so that the ‘yang’ actions that we take come from a place of peace and thoughtfulness. Then we are more likely to take the RIGHT ACTIONs rather than resort to hasty REACTIONs. And having rested in the slower ‘yin’ times, we also have the ‘yang’ energy to achieve things in the faster times, without getting overwhelmed.
Be patient with the pace
On my serendipitous sabbatical (our year spent living in Canada) I enjoyed (or at least spent) a lot of ‘yin’ time. So much that it drove me crazy! The weather was wet and cold (yin) most of the time, daylight (yang) hours were generally shorter and the nights (yin) longer. Cabin fever set in – big time! I turned myself inward (yin) as I didn’t know anyone at first, and it was only as the year wore on that I let a little of myself out (yang) and formed friendships (which I now treasure).
We travelled in North America, exploring places that were new for us (yang) – the big cities of New York and San Francisco (lots of yang) and quiet, beautiful places where nature’s noises replaced the honks of seventeen thousand New York cabbies. I appreciated the silence (yin) and the sounds (yang) in equal measure. And when the sun (yang) came out, I appreciated it like never before.
What I instinctively knew then, and am sure of in hindsight, is that I needed to ‘dwell’ in a place of yin energy for a while (with excursions to explore yang places in between). I needed to be at home with the kids – a quiet, simple time (although not necessarily a peaceful one!).
But after a time of contemplation, the creative (yin) energy needs to find external expression (yang). I returned to writing in Canada, and I wanted to actually DO something (anything really!) with my writing when I returned to Australia. I needed to release my yang energy in creative and constructive ways and find projects that I could be passionate about and work that I could love. And of course, there’s the small matter of working on being a better balanced yin-yang mother! (ie not too much yin ‘stewing’ or ‘yang’ yelling).
I journey towards balance, at times slow, at times faster. I try to savour the sights and sounds along the way. And I have this lesson to share – don’t be scared when things seem to be going too slowly, and don’t be afraid when things seem to be going too fast.
How’s life’s speed for you – too slow, too fast? How do you strike the right balance between the slow and fast times in your life?
Wishing you the perfect pace, and please share with your friends.