Thursday, November 10, 2011
Chickens with their heads cut off
If you love rushing around, then you can skip this post. Some people feel energized when they're rushing, pushing, going faster and faster through their day. I'm not one of those, but I believe it's possible to be fundamentally and temperamentally fast.
Some people rush around because they believe they're supposed to, they assume they'll accomplish more by hurrying (which is actually not always true). For these people, rushing is very stressful, but they do it anyway. It's easy to spot the people who could benefit from slowing down. They're the ones who get so very cranky if they're made to slow down, like in a long queue at the supermarket, or if they're stopped behind a car turning left. For these people, the sympathetic nervous system is cranked up to eleven. It's fight or flight all the way. They are miserable with stress, yet frantic to keep going ever faster.
Especially in an urban setting, rushing becomes the norm. I get it, I do, because on the rare occasion that I need to drive a car, I, too, am in a panic to get through the light before it turns red, even if I'm not running late. I have to tell myself over and over that a red light lasts about 30 seconds. What leads me to believe I can't I stop for 30 seconds?
One of the easiest ways to stop rushing for no reason is to make sure there is as much energy behind you as in front of you. Here's how you do it: imagine you're standing at the center of a chalk circle about 3 to 4 feet in diameter. Imagine the circle becomes three dimensional, a tube of light that extends upwards into the sky. Breathe. Pretend your breath fills the tube, with as much breath behind you as in front.
One of my theories about why we rush around so much is that people push all their energy out in front of themselves, giving no energy or awareness to the back body. Hence they are compelled to run forwards in a vain attempt to regain possession of the center of their energy. But as soon as they're there, they push the energy forwards again. Sigh.
Sometimes I have to rush; there is too much to do and not quite enough time to do it. But I try not to make a habit of hurrying. Life is short, I want to enjoy it while it's going by. Yes? I say yes.