The Freedom To Choose Small And Slow

Guys, can I share something with you?

First, Hey! Hi! How are you?

I missed blogging this week, but I’ve been sick and so  several of my “extra” things got pushed to the side for the sake of survival. It’s good to be back with you.

But anyways.

You know how I posted last week about greatness? You know how I said that my days can seem so slow and small? You know how I said I’ve wrestled with that, but ultimately found a glorious beauty and freedom in that slowness, that smallness? Well yesterday was a day like no other November 2nd I’ve ever experienced. After completing my yoga practice outside (you read that right – outside!), I sat and soaked up the 70 degree weather and sunshine with my legs propped up on an extra chair and a book on my lap. I’m reading Present Over Perfect right now by Shauna Niequist for my book club. These words made me nearly spit out my coffee:

There we were, women in our thirties. Educated, married, mothers, women who have careers, who manage homes and oversee companies. And there we were, utterly resigned to lives that feel overly busy and pressurized, disconnected and exhausted.

But that’s shifting the blame, right? Who’s the boss, if not us? Who’s forcing us to live this way? Or, possibly, do we not want to face the answer to that question, preferring to believe we can’t possibly be held responsible for what we’ve done?

…It had never occurred to us…that someone would intentionally keep something small, or deliberately do something slow. (My emphasis, because – holy crap!)

…for those of us who came of age in the “more is more” mentality, it can be hard to grasp the idea that we have some say over the size of our own lives – that we have the agency and authority and freedom to make them smaller or larger, heavier or lighter.

I’m going to keep this post short because you don’t need a bunch of my words. You don’t need me to blab on and on. I think the truth of this will resonate with you, or not. So let me just end with this –

So many of us feel overwhelmed with our current life. Often we have super specific ideas of the ways we wish life looked, but refuse to give up an inch of how it actually is in order to get somewhere better.

Guys, we have so much say in our life. I know that culture says do more, more, more, but what if our heart is saying less, less, less? What if we want smaller, slower? It might feel like we serve at the pleasure of our finances, our job, or society’s demands, but isn’t it really just that we allow it?

We create a budget that only works with two incomes, then lament when we can’t stay home to be with the kids.

We sign our kids up for every sport and extra curricular the school offers then feel physically oppressed by the busyness of our calendar.

We buy houses and cars and clothes and go on vacations we can’t afford and then moan about “life’s demands.”

Life does not demand these things. We do. We demand them.

This is not a criticism of us, rather, simply a description of our reality. But we can change that reality.

How often have we felt desperate to take something off our plate, but in the next breath we say “but…”

Every time we say that we want our life to look one way “but,” we shift the blame. We give other people and things the authority to dictate how our life looks. And honestly, it’s easier that way. It’s easier to say that we would do something but we can’t, rather than admitting we would do something but won’t.

I just want to encourage anyone who is reading this and feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and straight up unhappy with the merry-go-round of your life, to GET. OFF. Get off the merry-go-round. It’s ok. You can do it. Sure, you might have to make some changes in your life in order to make that possible, and sure things will look different, but ultimately, isn’t that what you’re after? Don’t buy into the lie that a life filled with unfulfilling things will somehow lead to fulfillment.

Get comfortable saying no, because you can’t get to your ‘yes’ without first establishing your ‘no.’ But then, get comfortable. Like, really, really, super comfortable. Because the thing about scaling back, about staying small and slow, is that there is plenty of room. Room to breath. Room to stretch out. Room to be. Room to become.

There is freedom, my friends. There is freedom from the chaos. It’s yours for the taking.

 

 

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