Slow down? Not in my plan. Slowing down wasn’t something that I thought was okay. It wasn’t in my realm. Slow down to discover my life? I hadn’t a clue!
It was 1993. I was the Director of Revenue Management at the Marriott Cypress Creek Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. My boss, Greg, pulled me into his office one day. He was not happy with me. He got really really close to my face, nose to nose, and said the politically correct way of saying, “slow the F*ck down” he yelled, “you are wound WAY TOO TIGHT!”
And I was.
Over the years this pattern of go, go, go, run, run, run, do, do, do became my M.O. Somehow, I thought, if I was the busiest person in the office I would seem more important. So, I never stopped at the water cooler for a chat. I didn’t play office trivia because that was wasting far too much time with co-workers I didn’t really know anyway. And never coming up for air created its own form of stress.
I locked into this pattern and let it run my life. Five days before my 47th birthday, a doctor told me I had triple negative breast cancer. That stopped me in my tracks. Once I slowed down, I asked myself, “where did my life go?”
We fragment ourselves. We splinter our energy. We literally drain our own life force because we are never fully present in the moment. We are usually focused on tomorrow — chasing a destination, worried about what else needs to get done besides what’s in front of us. Or, we are fixated in the past, harboring resentment, bearing a grudge. Pining for what was.
How often are you right here, right now?
What is the rush anyway? Much of the time, if we are honest with ourselves, the rush is only in our heads. We make up the sense of urgency. We do this to purposely fill the empty spaces, to cover up our real feelings, to numb ourselves from some real or imagined discomfort.
For too many years I was missing the moments that were in front of me. Life was slipping through my fingers. I learned the classic workaholic patterns from my father, who died at age 44. And there I was at 47, facing my own mortality thinking, “Oh my God, I need to slow the f**k down or I am going to die too.”
Aside from being lifesaving, slowing down for me has been hugely rewarding and fulfilling. The biggest gain has been in coming to know myself and my life.
Slowing down has allowed me to listen to my inner guidance system, which has regular, consistent wisdom on what will bring happiness and enrichment into my life. Slowing down has allowed me to become fully present and engage with the moments right in front of me. Slowing down has brought magic and synchronicity into my days. It has allowed me to replenish my life force and increase my energy levels.
Slowing down has allowed me to fall in love with myself and my life. Discovering the person and the life that was right there in front of me all along.
Donna Bond, M.A. is a graduate of the University of Santa Monica where she earned her master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health and Healing as well as her professional coaching certification. To learn more about her coaching services, please visit donnabond.com