Intentional Slowing

Are you exhausted? Burned out? In serious need of a vacation?

I’ve always said that when I come home from a vacation, I need another vacation just to recoup from the first one and catch up on everything.

I have a record playing over and over in my mind that says, “If you sit down for more than five minutes doing nothing, you’re wasting time” or “What you’ve accomplished is just not good enough.” Why do we think that we’re unproductive when we relax, or read a book, or binge on our favorite show or play a video game with our kids? Why is it that we think we are wasting time? Are we not allowed to just do nothing for a minute?

American culture has accomplished some amazing things due to our work ethic. However, in doing so we have lost the ability to relax. We have forgotten our relational nature which results in sitting on a porch drinking tea or coffee, and talking with good friends.

I am a father of five, so our house is full. And by American standards of family, we are busy, busy, busy! Practices, games, jobs, activities, work – it never ends.

And it can easily seem like the rest of my life gets out of balance. I often ask myself if I’m really living, or just existing.

I recently read some thoughts around pursuing slowing in our lives. While I am all for success, I think we should include this idea of slowing in our definition of success. I want my life to have a better definition of success.

Have you ever been to Europe? The culture there is so much more relaxed than in the States. Taking time out of the day to drink good coffee and chat with friends. Why does coffee taste better there? In fact, why does everything taste better there? I appreciate the focus on relationships and connecting with people. I envy the intentionally slower pace of life. It takes twice as long for food to get to our table, yet it does not bother me. In fact, many other cultures seem to be better at slowing. Maybe it’s not really a slower pace of life as much as it is a different value set.

Whatever it is. I love it. And every time I go overseas, I soak it up. I don’t want to leave, and I dread the thought of returning to the rat race back in the States, determined it won’t continue to be the same in my life. And yet…it returns to that pace.

Have you ever just watched snow fall? It is one of the greatest joys of my life. It is so quiet, and everything else comes to a stop. Have you ever seen a robin build a nest? Astounding. Even while writing this, I am sitting here looking out the window at my hummingbird feeder. I hung it on the back side of a bush right by the window so I could watch them. There is a green one sitting on a branch right now cleaning its feathers. Hummingbirds are tiny, beautiful creatures and yet their wings beat over 100 times every second. But even they need to rest and so do we.

If your life needs more balance, and some slowing, I am the coach for you. Let’s take a look at your values. My guess is that relaxation is something you value, but you have not taken the time to plan it. Let us get it on the calendar regularly. Let me help you live your values.

Endeavour coaching is here to help you live, not simply exist.

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