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How to slow down: 3 ways to be a tortoise in a hare’s world

Have you ever felt like a tortoise in a hare’s world? Maybe you’re a little slow at making decisions or processing your thoughts.

You don’t think quickly on your feet so get overlooked at meetings where fast talkers rule.

Have you ever felt like a tortoise in a hare's world? Maybe you're a little slower at making decisions or processing your thoughts. Click To Tweet

We live in a society that celebrates the fast and quick. It promotes the straight line from A to B.

I’m a proponent of staying on course and saying no to things that don’t serve you. But, I’m also willing to slow down and listen to God’s leading for my life.

Here are 3 ways to slow down and go at tortoise rather than hare speed. To ease up from relentless doing to live a life you love.

1. Create white space in your life

slow down, self care, simple living, simplicity
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Resist the urge to fill your calendar. Money experts tell us to pay ourselves first. Do the same with your time.

Reserve space for solitude and reflection in your schedule. How often is up to your individual needs.

Set aside time to simply sit and think. I like to set a timer for 16 minutes and let my thoughts roam. I get some of my best ideas and solutions to problems during this time.

You might find tears come when you simply sit and linger. These are emotions you’ve repressed while running around doing life at a hectic pace.

What a blessing to give them space to breathe.

You don’t need to judge any emotions that stir. Or do anything about them right now. Let them be and allow them to run through you.

I’ve been using the Pause app by John Eldredge which walks you through guided meditations in 1, 3, 5, and 10-minute increments.

You unlock the next pause session only after you’ve completed three of the previous shorter sessions.

So, you’re rewarded for achieving the goal of slowing down for longer stretches of time. The tortoise would approve!

2. Be flexible with your goals

Goals are a wonderful way to grow and chart progress. But don’t get so stuck on one that you fail to see when God has something else for you.

It’s like forcing a key into a stuck lock. The more you push, the worse it gets, until finally the key breaks and you’re locked out for good.

But you know how sometimes if you loosen your grip on the key or position it differently in the lock, you gain entry? That’s what I mean by holding loosely to your goals.

Sometimes if you loosen your grip on the key or position it differently in the lock, you gain entry. Click To Tweet

You might have to take a less direct route to get where you’re going. Some people call it a pivot.

You’re not giving up on your goal, but approaching it in a new way. And that might take more time.

To know when and whether to pivot in a new direction, you have to be flexible and humble. Less focused on winning and more on learning what’s best for you and the people you serve.

3. Embrace your gifts

slow down

You don’t have to do things the way everyone else does. The gurus say to wake up at 5 am and get productive.

But productivity is not the most important thing in life.

Embracing your gifts means saying no to events and activities that make you feel less like yourself.

You know the ones, where you have to wear a suit of armor to get through them and count the minutes until you can leave?

Do more of what you love instead. What is the thing you lose yourself in, that fulfills you, and makes you feel most like you?

When we don’t do enough of what fulfills us, we find other unhealthy ways to fill the void.

Too much wine, food, shopping, act as counterfeit substitutes. They attempt to soothe our souls but never succeed.

When we don't do enough of what fulfills us, we find other unhealthy ways to fill the void. Click To Tweet

Slow down and take time to understand your gifts. Maybe you’ve lost sight of them amidst all the caregiving and working for money.

Think back to your childhood and what you liked to do when time posed no object. It’s likely those things will still bring joy and meaning into your life.

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