Take the time to read this as though your life depends on it. Let’s be clear about what I mean. What I write here might not change your life, but slowing down certainly will!

I want you to consider what it would be like if you slowed down your mind to be able to think clearly, process your thoughts and plans fully, and organize your emotions and energy so you can feel like a human again. It would be pretty lovely right?

We are so fast moving, ridiculously consumed by going-going-going that we rarely catch a moment to breathe. We are often working insane hours only to have no social lives or time for ourselves. This pattern begs asking the question: what is the point?!

If we are not taking the time to slow down enough to enjoy those moments, the very reasons for working 60+ hours a week, stressing day in and day out, never seeing the light of day or socializing with friends, what are we doing all of this for? I have been there so I know the lies that we tell ourselves.

  • “I’ll slow down after I make $_____”
  • “I’ll make time for myself when I go on vacation”
  • “I’ll stop working _____ hours once I’ve gotten my raise”
  • “I’ll see my friends when I have more time”
  • “I’ll take care of myself once summer comes”

I am calling bullshit on these lies that we tell because I have seen the flip side. I have told those lies to myself and to others when I was wrapped up in the struggle of pushing myself for something more, working harder to exceed my goals, going until there was nothing of myself left to give.

I nearly burned out completely and had to move to another country to get away from it all. In doing that, I realized that if I could have changed one simple thing it could have changed it all.

I should have slowed the f*ck down. I should have taken a minute to realize the lies I was telling myself and that they have no end. I should have listened to my own advice. I should have taken a millisecond to slow down and breathe.

When we do not slow down for our lives, they have a way of taking control of us. Mentally, physically, emotionally, we become a plane on autopilot mode. Not needing a pilot to dictate what happens, solely focused on the end goal and not taking into account anything else along the way. The trouble with this is that our true intentions get pushed to the side.

In autopilot mode, nothing is intentional and everything is just running “as is.” We do not change the status quo or even challenge it. Things that take too much effort do not get addressed because autopilot mode cannot account for those things. I mean things like slowing down for self-care, seeing people who make our lives better, making choices that keep our mind fresh and energized.

Outside of autopilot, we allow ourselves to be fully present. Aware of what choices we are making and an active participant in making them! Things do not “happen to” us, as the excuse goes in autopilot mode, but we choose our direction in life. I will not lie and sell you on rainbows and sunshine from living intentionally and slowing down. Sometimes mistakes will be made.

This is the byproduct of living in the present. Life is messy and real and comes with ups and downs. Rather than getting sucked into the fast-paced, craziness of it all, I want to challenge you to slow it down.

If you’re looking for a change, sign up for my 3 day mini challenge designed to help busy people like you find creative ways to manage the stress of their work week.

Originally published at www.talkingoutsidethebox.org on April 12, 2017.

Originally published at medium.com