The week was gliding to a soft close like a smooth landing at home after being gone for days.
It'd been seven days since I'd felt this good.
I had that particularly acute sense of awareness and experience you realize when something fundamental shifts. Like the morning after the first snow when everything is clean and quiet and bright.
The day's events excited me pedestrian as they were. In the end life really is a series of day to day experiences all of which be enjoyed. Chewy to the vet for a check-up (she's fine), coffee with my friend Jill and some small repairs around the house. Small things are fun when you immerse yourself in them.
The entire week had been slightly slowed down in motion so immersion was easier. I found myself a half-step behind the beat just like Willie Nelson's iconic singing style.
Accepting this new rhythm my body had adopted in recovery I exploited it focusing only on what was in front of me. With customers. Peers. My boss. Wanting to fully experience each moment on its own.
I didn't work slower – I slowed my mind down. Cut out the noise. Focused. So I could do more.
Slowing down speeds us up
Like you there's more on my plate than I can accomplish in a day. One reason we enjoy physical work – cleaning the kitchen, mowing the yard, etc. – is that we can see a beginning, end and output. That isn't always the case in our professional lives where the edges and ends are blurred and fuzzy.
Letting my mind run just a half-step slower had real benefits.
To concentrate on what people shared with me I spoke less and listened more. Comparing priorities and projects with a quieter mind let me focus more quickly and make decisions faster. Recognizing my own limits if I made mistakes I owned them quicker and then moved on with better alignment and support from those around me.
Slower does not equal slow
Extrinsic events can cause us all to try and run faster and faster. To do more with less. Yet our energy like most things in life moves in waves with ebbs and flows. So we forget the value of slowing down.
My week-long odyssey allowed me to recognize again how much impact there is in being fully present in each moment. Giving each person my full attention. Its hard to do and I'm not very good at it.
But we don't have to be perfect. We just have to fully be.
Sometimes a half-step behind really is a full step ahead.