Why you should slow down and take your time

Sometimes it seems this world is in such a rush to get somewhere and especially to cram as much as possible into the short time we have to live this human incarnation.

But doesn’t rushing feel like skating on the surface?

And doesn’t cramming it all in feel confining and stifling and like there’s no space for joy to wrap around the experience?

In our efforts to realise our dreams, we skip over uncertainty, and we don’t mine the gifts of our procrastination, fears, avoidant tendencies and other blocks.

I’m a proponent of slowing down and taking your time.

In my work place, I see time and time again how too much focus on getting the job done often in a rush and not enough focus on the unfolding journey called process causes errors, sub-standard work and re-works making the journey take twice as long and a whole heap of frustration and lost goodwill. A lot of business studies have shown that slowing down is the way to speed up.

As a scuba diver, swimming too fast has two implications:
The first is that you will suck your tank dry of air quickly and your dive time will be greatly reduced;
The second is that you won’t see all the camouflaged, hidden and tiny creatures as you swim right past them. You might see more of a big site but really you will see less.

As a pilgrim (or hiker or every day walker), walking through the world brings you into direct contact with the world around you, the ground, the sky, the weather, the sounds, the smells, the textures, the small and hidden details, in a way you can’t experience it in a bus or train or car.

As a meditator, your experience of life slows right down to this moment, this breath, this inhale then exhale, the thoughts floating through like passing clouds and all the sensations that are here to be noticed and felt fully.

There’s a time to leap and jump and swing through life, and there’s a time to bust through your procrastination and other blocks that hold you back, but mostly I think we need to slow down.

The fullness of life is not in how much we do or how far we go or how much we achieve but in how deeply we experience and treasure each moment that it presents, even the ones we want to bypass or reject.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

Riding the wave

Dear ones,

Here, it is Monday once again, and I turn up to this sacred space exactly as I am. I haven’t chosen a topic or sketched out a post or planned anything. I am empty-handed.

Isn’t it funny how we have been conditioned to believe that if we visit a friend we must bring something with us to offer, that it’s not enough to show up exactly as we are, as if our presence, time and attention alone is not a great gift to those around us, that we must always offer something more.

I am learning to trust intimately and on a deeper level this showing up without an agenda or plan: To be quiet and unknowing, unplanned and surrendered. To listen more deeply and surrender the impulse to respond. To wholly know silence as I wrote last week.

It feels raw and edgy because it goes against the grain of so much I have learned about life and business including goals, plans, strategies, schedules, busy-ness, doing, pushing, adding value, having an opinion and how to be successful.

This way of being feels more open, present, receptive and in tune with the world seen and unseen around me, flowing effortlessly and with grace.

When I show up to life without my own agenda or plan, I show up with the ears of my heart listening for what truly wants to be expressed beneath the surface. When I stop judging and posturing and controlling, I can allow what wants to be expressed through me to come through. I show up willing to be aligned to something greater than my self.  Usually I experience a great magic and mystery that I could never plan along with deep contentment in my soul.

So while all of this unfolds and integrates, a small scared part of me wonders how will I ever successfully publish my book if I don’t do the old way of planning, strategising, scheduling, pushing, adding value, and if I don’t keep taking linear steps. But the truth is I’ve been trying to figure out a publishing plan this way for a while now and it doesn’t work for me. I just feel stuck.

I’ve spent a lot of time on and in the ocean thanks to scuba diving and my love of a tropical sea. I have been dumped by big waves and I’ve kicked against strong currents without getting anywhere. To me, bliss is floating on the ocean’s surface for hours or even better, being suspended neutrally buoyant in its blue plane.

The ocean is a powerful and beautiful thing. Merging with it taps you into something so much bigger than your small self and the oneness of all things.

We all have our own paths to walk, our own waves to ride in this life. I have no idea where this current wave I am riding is going, or where or if it will land on shore. I cannot control where the wave wants to go. And I’m not meant to. I’m just here to ride it.

With love and courage,

Kym

xx

The Wordlessness of Wonder (and my video of diving the Banda Sea)

The Wordlessness of Wonder (and my video of diving the Banda Sea)
"In the depth of my soul there is a wordless song." — Kahlil Gibran

Last Monday, I returned home from ten days diving across the Banda Sea in Indonesia.  When friends and family have asked, “How was your trip?” my standard response has been, “Incredible.”  It was, yet that one word doesn’t fully encapsulate how sacred and joyful my journey was. I still can't find the words to describe the inner experience of what I witnessed:

The volcano, Komba, roaring as it exploded throwing molten rocks skyward that tumbled down the side of the crater like a million falling stars.

A full lunar eclipse from start to end lying on the top deck of the boat as we sailed towards our next destination.

At the surface of the sea, a sperm whale, minke whales, dolphins and mobula rays jumping out of the water.

All sorts of weird but wonderful little creatures like squat lobsters and hairy orang-utan crabs.  

Free-swimming turtle head snakes and giant rays hanging gracefully in the current at cleaning stations.

I stuck my hands in warm volcanic sand beneath the sea and had to pull them out because it was too hot.

The highlight and absolute privilege was to witness one of the most extraordinary sights I have ever seen in my life:

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The medicine of wonder

The medicine of wonder

"The most beautiful emotion is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead." — Albert Einstein

For too many years of my life, I lived as if I were sleepwalking. I went through the motions of life doing everything that I knew you were meant to do: I finished high school, went to uni then detoured for a while after my mum died. I decided on a career in financial planning studying part-time diplomas, certifications and a bachelor degree whilst I successfully worked my way into an Executive Manager position at age 28.

My time in the world was spent in the office, in the car, in the apartment, in cafes, in the shoping centre, in the gym and sometimes walking around the lake. I built what I thought was the perfect life, the life I thought would make me happy except it didn’t. I ended up miserable to the point of crying almost everyday on the way to work, on the way home and at night in bed usually after my boyfriend had fallen asleep.

During this time, something wonderful happened that turned out to be my saving grace and put me on this pilgrimage path. I learned to scuba dive.

I don’t remember much of my first dive in the sea. I was really focussed on keeping the regulator in my mouth, not drowning, not running out of air and not getting lost. 

It was my second dive that changed everything.

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