The Frustration And Joy Of Going Slow

Yesterday was the first day in weeks I’ve felt like I finally sunk back into myself.

Like I’d been walking around in someone else’s shoes – they fit ok, but they weren’t exactly that super snug settled in kind of feeling. Or there’d been a teeny tiny pebble left inside. Annoying enough to notice but not annoying enough to stop and actually figure out how to take care of it and return to comfort.

Nothing particularly different about my day. I started it with a coffee date with myself. My notebooks and pens of varying colour on hand.

Perhaps it was that I let my body choose when to wake up, and it was later than usual.

Perhaps it was because I didn’t have any single commitment in my diary, giving me the freedom to choose how the day swept me and what felt most good to me.

Perhaps it was that the night before I’d had a nice bath, with delicious scents wafting me into relaxation.

There’s a long list of perhaps I could keep coming up with. But ultimately it had nothing to do with yesterday at all, and everything to do with what led up to yesterday.

Having returned from a three week trip back to Australia to spend time with family and friends recently, I’d taken much longer than usual to settle back into my routine and rhythm this time around.

Old me – would have pushed through.

Filled my schedule up entirely and got down on myself for not moving as fast as I would have liked. I would have got straight back into early mornings and made sure I was walking every single day, even if my body was slow and exhausted.

I would have told myself I needed to do all the things that make me feel like I’m a successful business woman, that make me feel like I’m “living up to” some expectation of what a “good coach” would do to “achieve all the things”.

Real me, current me, me that has slowly and steadily integrated the lessons of the times before – the times when I would keep pushing and just feel worse, the times where I would berate myself for not being good enough, or where I’d just be actually plain oblivious to what my body was telling me and therefore end up sick or just irritable constantly with my boyfriend – simply didn’t.

Didn’t push through.

Didn’t add to my schedule. In fact delighted when a few things got cancelled.

Didn’t add more when it felt like things weren’t working.

Instead, I’ve been going slow. Like really slow.

And it’s been both completely frustrating and incredibly nourishing at the same time.

Real me, current me, integrated all the lessons (often multiple times!) me – she’s so much more gentle these days.

She gets that despite the fact that I’ve spent three weeks with loved ones, the way in which I spent those three weeks is completely different to my regular routine and rhythm of life. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s just different.

And when routine gets jostled, so too does your nervous system. Your mental, emotional and physical balance. It’s not about good or bad – it’s about recognising that a rebalancing of sorts is necessary.

Old me – didn’t know what balance was. Old me thought balance came from booking myself in for a massage.

Balance for me now is never about achieving a perfect state where I feel completely and utterly calm and serene. Balance is actually far more about feeling grounded.

Which brings me back to walking around in my own shoes again.

When I’m walking in my own shoes, it feels natural. It feels like I can stumble and fall but know how to get up again. It feels soothing. It feels like I know which direction I’m going in, but even if I get a little lost they’re comfy enough to take me on that detour and still make it home.

Yesterday felt like home.

And it took so much longer to get there than I wanted it too. More tears. More numbness. More staring at my “good ideas” and “goals” notebooks blankly, waiting for the inspiration and creativity to arrive.

But the only way home is to be gentle. To go as slow as is needed and to trust.

I knew that all I needed was time. Gentleness. And to keep asking myself every single day – What do you need? What do you want to do next? What will feel good to you right now?

It’s been a lot of no walks, no meditation, no working. All things that usually bring me a lot of joy.

But what I’ve needed most, more than anything has been the silence. The stillness. And the trust, the trust that this too shall pass.

I didn’t think this post would end up so long. Truth is when I started typing my head was saying “I have no idea what to say”. A pang of panic was kicking in that I hadn’t sat down to write for so long maybe I’d “lost it”.

Then the trust kicked in. The feeling that springs from your heart (not your head) that tells you actually, just keep going, because you’ll know what to say once you start.

So here’s to you, and to whatever kind of week you are having, to know that you are exactly where you need to be right now.

Your strength, your joy, your results – they all come from you taking one step at a time. From you tuning in to YOU not to anyone else. From you knowing that the moment you put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, or open your mouth, that’s where things will start to unfold.