I’ve been itching to slow down lately. And when I say lately it’s been years. And when I say itching it’s more like battling. Ok, let me start over.
I’ve been battling myself for years now to slow down. That’s better.
This urgency to be more intentional, to set a slower pace, to be present and in turn more fulfilled, has been weighing on my chest for more time than I’d like to admit.
Does anyone else feel like this? Or is it just me?
And this is not “quarantine made me realize” or “2020 has brought this new me on”. Nope, not at all. Quarantine was the opposite. It made me want to move faster because I was forced to be still. But the urgency to slow down was prominent through it all because of that weight bearing down. Or should I say building up from within. And since that innate feeling has not be lifted or put out, that means I need to dig in and find out why.
This need to slow and be intentional is deeper than clearing my schedule and putting my phone away at night during family time. It’s a burning deep within that’s telling me that the way I live my day to day, is not how it should be.
Do you ever feel like your running in circles with no place to go?
Do you ever feel like you’re in a race and there’s no end or prize in sight?
Do you ever feel like your climbing the wrong mountain?
Do you ever feel like you’re trying so hard to be present but for the life of you, you can’t stop your wandering thoughts?
Like there’s a battle for your attention, your time, your being and you just don’t know how to shut it off and shut it down?
If you said yes to any of those, know that I am virtually high fiving you. And not in a “yeah friend, we’re twinning way” but in a “goodness, I’m so sorry you feel that way, but me too” kind of way.
Why is it so hard now a days to slow down with intention?
Why does it feel like if we aren’t apart of the “busy” culture that we must be doing something wrong or missing out?
I just can’t anymore. It’s exhausting and I’m not even doing half of what I used to. But that is the battle: the feeling that we are either keeping up or being left behind. And that is not an ultimatum I want to be a part of.
Ruthless: showing no pity or mercy.
I want to be ruthless in my practice of slowing down. I want to show zero pity for the excuses I continuously come up with for why I don’t do what I truly need to do.
To make my life more intentional, to fight the battle within. I want to win the war for what the deepest parts of me are telling me to fight for. I want a no excuse mentality when it comes to becoming the woman God created me to be.
In slowing down, I want to honor the process of becoming and not striving. I want to practice grace for myself in saying, “I can not do it all, and that’s ok!” I want to release the need for hurry because the race I feel like I’m on was created by me. A creation that no longer serves me, because it wasn’t given to me by my Creator. I no longer want to miss out on life because of the fear of missing out with others.
You see, that itch for slowness. That ruthless pursuit for intentionality goes against the grain. But that weight won’t leave my chest, and the need is forcing me to lift it off so I can breathe again. Or possibly for the first time ever.
Slowing down seems like driving the wrong way on a one way street. It seems like I’m choosing to live my prime years in slow-mo rather than the hustle that’s praised by so many. But if I’ve learned anything in the last couple years, it’s that life is TRULY lived in the slow. In the present. In the mundane.
Slow isn’t a bad thing.
Spoiler Alert: the turtle DID win the race against the hare.
So, how do we slow down? How do we become truly intentional in our lives? How do we battle the busy culture and remain in our own lane? A lane that allows us to have a slower speed limit.
We must listen.
Listen to the voice that’s telling us what we NEED, even if it goes against what we want.
We must feel.
Feel that weight on our chest because that heaviness is there for a reason. It’s screaming for our attention because we are about to get crushed.
We must take action.
Do something about it. Ignoring the need to slow down with intention won’t make the longing go away. Oh no, quite opposite. The need is only going to get stronger, louder, and heavier.
Friend, there’s a reason these words and these actions came up and why you are reading them right now, in this season. Couldn’t we all take a moment to check our busy meter to see how well it’s working out for us?
Be ruthless in dropping the excuses and finally taking the steps into becoming and not just striving.
Be ruthless in your intentions, your whys, and the motives behind your day to day actions.
Be ruthless with your time, your focus, and your attention. Don’t just give it away. Those things are precious and they should be guarded ruthlessly.
Those everyday decisions compact into the long haul. The long haul of a happier life. And one day you don’t want to look back and wish you would’ve slowed down sooner.
Live slower. Slow down to see the people beside you. To laugh at their jokes. To love on them. To do life with them. To hold their hand. Slow down and enjoy the people and the surroundings God has so graciously given you. Busyness won’t give you the joy that you’re searching for. But a life filled with slow intentional thoughts and actions will allow you the space to live in those precious moments filled with bliss.
Fight the battle, friend. It’s been building up in you for a reason. Search it out. Slow down and figure out why it was placed on you. The ruthless pursuit is worth it. Even if for you, it’s only slowing down long enough to take the weight off your chest and take a much needed deep breath in.
The ruthless pursuit of that breath will be life giving.