Monday, February 2, 2015

we need slow. we need stops.


January feels like frenetic chaos. 

It seems the New Year begs for new resolutions and dreams and the desire to do them right now. I race around like a chicken with my head cut off, frantically chasing what's next, what now, then what. I pump myself full of caffeine and super foods, making sure there's a constant supply of inspiration and nutrition, desperately squeeze every bit that I can from every last interaction and bible verse. 

Oh how I want to hustle like everyone else does, but without an intravenous drip of black coffee, I can't keep up. I find myself growing tired, weary, sick of it all.  Slowly, I fall behind, losing pace and aware that I'm lagging.  The hustle starts to exhaust my soul and my creativity.

By the second week of January I'm exhausted and dreadful to be around, thinking only of the growing list of To Dos and longing desperately for sleep -sound, dreamy sleep cuddled in cozy flannels and hunkered under a down comforter. My edges get rough and jagged, posing danger to anyone who might draw near.

And it's those same rough, scraggly spots that wear down the lacy, gentle edges of my soul. 

Making space for gentleness, slowly, carefully, making space to slow will allow for healing. Like muscles broken down and torn up, we must grow, heal, and slow. We need to slow. In fact, we can take slowing to a greater dedication and stop. 

Yes, we need to stop. To stop and sip the coffee, to read that book, to make an extra five minutes in the morning routine. To stop and sleep in late, to put relaxation on our To Do lists, to reflect and restore. Without the stop, we cannot reset. 

Welcome February, may you bring calm. 

32 comments:

  1. January started off with a bang and I was so productive and feeling accomplished, and then my grandmother passed away and it all STOPPED. Just came to a halt. From one extreme to the other, I can say that it's not easy. February is going to be about me finding that balance again. Somewhere in between where I can rest and savor and accomplish, but on my own time, without the rush and without the crazy. Whew. I'm glad you understand me.

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  2. Thanks to one of the biggest snow storms in Chicago history- February has definitely started out relaxing for me. I was actually glad I couldn't make it out of my garage to go to church yesterday morning or to any superbowl parties. Today I have a snow day off from school. It's too exhausting to get angry at the snow and "bad weather" so I'm choosing to enjoy the quiet days and relax. Read, write some blog posts, write my novel, drink coffee, watch a movie. It's perfect.

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  3. Living in CA where life is really fast paced...it can be hard to slow down. For me, just being more mindful of what it is I'm doing and why makes a huge difference. Amen to slowing down!

    xo Danica
    www.dustparticlesblog.com

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  4. YES, totally agree with this! Stopping and resetting is SO needed!

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  5. YES! I could not agree more. January is draining, bless its heart, and I need February to be refreshing.

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  6. YES. this. this is the essence of my word for this year: selah. we NEED to pause, be still, be slow. loved this.

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  7. Your posts are always so rejuvenating for me. They always bring me back to earth and take a breath, like 'oh yeah, I don't have to be super woman. God's got this.' So thank you for your wonderful posts. They are always a breath of fresh air :)

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  8. I love this so much. I’m really good at go-go-going until my energy is gone and I am spent. (Cough cough writing books cough cough.) A good reminder, thank you. You’re basically the greatest. - LLH

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  9. I agree, stopping and just being is so powerful. It's something my partner and I really try to do. He is really good at relaxing and having a cup of tea and just switching off - I am not so good!! It's something I am working on too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reminding me to slow down too!!
    x Sam
    http://sambellcreative.com/blog

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  10. Exactly what I needed to read this morning. My first day home after being away a month and I feel like I have 5,000 things I have to do right away.

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  11. I hope your January is full of happiness and lots of peace! I can't complain about my January... my month was great. I really hope February will be too! Great blog btw, first time here and I love it :)


    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  12. I am totally one of those people who hits the ground running and by the end of January I have officially accomplished not much besides stressing myself out. It's just such an exciting time that I can't help but get wrapped up in it! February is going to be my month of just enjoying. Loved this post.

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  13. This is so well said. Love it! We do need this, really need it. :)

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  14. My favorite quote right now is: "It's ok to be happy with a calm life".

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  15. Slow is hard for me. I'm so used to an endless to do list of homework and work projects and writing ideas and studying that even now that I have less than half of the normal amount of work, I still feel like I need to be busy all the time. But then I go the exact opposite and I'm lazy. Which isn't okay either. Balance is hard, but it's worth it!

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  16. I am totally feeling this! My schedule started out crazy at the beginning of the year and it just seems to get even busier as the days go on. Sometimes I find myself giving all of my time to others to help them out only to realize I don't have time to rest. It's one of things I am trying to do more of!

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  17. It's amazing how some bad weather can FINALLY give us the opportunity to slow down and stop, to let our minds and bodies relax and fall into a sort of slumber... How many animals are great at months of hibernation? And we... ARE NOT! :)


    P.S. How did the writing go?

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  18. I have come to realize that sometimes those emergencies happen and create the opportunity for us to stop and reflect on where we're at, how we're doing, and the things we'd like to change. `I think that's when we, then, have the chance to redefine the balance and what it means for our life... Something that is an ever-constant battle.


    Totally got you girl. Totally got you. :)

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  19. I'm from CA too! ;) Yes, go go go and then get mad because there's traffic along the way. I've really had to work hard at remembering the why, especially when it feels like there's so much crazy busy-ness that's not really productive that goes on in life. `

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  20. So needed (and yet so challenging to do!). :)

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  21. WHY IS IT SO DRAINING? I mean, I know why, because let's accomplish all the goals right here and right now, but WHY? :)

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  22. Pause. I find myself saying that in my head when I want to be crazily, chaotically chasing something... Which is far more often than I'd really like to admit. :)

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  23. Thank you so much Kristen. SO MUCH. You don't have to be super woman (I'm pretty certain you are) but you don't have to be because that's a WHOLE lot of work... Especially when God says He's got this and WANTS to get this for you. :)

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  24. FREAKING BOOKS. They ruin everything.


    Oh wait, they don't, but I like to pretend they do when I'm really tired and putting off the task of writing.

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  25. I absolutely LOVE how you say that stopping is powerful. Because I believe that so deeply, but I don't think it's something that is viewed as powerful or as blessed at all anymore and so we don't. And then we're all running around like chickens with our head cut off, completely exhausted and frantic about what to do next.

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  26. Ok, so you didn't ask how I do my To Do lists at all but I'm going to share anyway. :) Every night before bed I put together a To Do for the next day. The trick: I only allow myself three non-negotiable tasks a day. They're three things I MUST get done. And then I give myself 3-5 more bonus tasks. And depending on the day I accomplish none to all of them. Sometimes I reward myself for the bonus tasks -with an afternoon coffee or Coke Zero. And, well, this has been life-giving because I'm not busy running to and fro.


    Yes, just vomited that all over your comment. You are so welcome. :)

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  27. I love January, the freshness and the energy and excitement. But come the 31st I realize it's time for a new pace, a sustainable pace, a little reset because I can't do a year of full-speed ahead behavior. :)

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  28. It is SO HARD to slow down and remember you have a whole year to go after your goals, a whole LIFE to make progress... Instead of trying to squeeze it all into a single month. I've spent a lot of time reminding myself that book writing (my current BIG project) doesn't happen overnight... Or even in the course of a month. Holy humbling.

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  29. I have that written all over because I have a tendency to make things chaotic. And in the chaos I get all frustrated and frantic and guess what? Then no one likes me including myself.

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  30. This with a glass of coffee or wine wins at everything! :)

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  31. YES. I'm one or the other but never the nice in between. I guess warm is something I've never really been good at which means I'm usually worn out and at the end of my rope or completely restless.

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  32. Drawing those boundaries and making those spaces for yourself can be so difficult. I find myself saying yes to everything and then feeling strung out in the middle of it all... So I'm learning to say no, for me, for my sanity and my life and, well, that's helpful though it's still SO MUCH of a learning experience.

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