I don’t know how to slow down. You would have thought that after all these months (years? decades?) of restrictions and queueing and patiently waiting for things to get better I would have adopted a more relaxed pace of life.
But no. I haven’t.
I have got really good at noticing The Things (like this tree full of parakeets) – I just do it at breakneck speed.
I love going for a walk but I have to be told to slow down. I love yoga but I have to skip the bit at the end when you just lie on the floor. I love loose-leaf tea (because yes to reducing what I send to landfill) but I find it agonisingly painful waiting the advised 3 to 6 minutes for it to brew, even when I have nowhere to go and no place to be but 3 metres away back at the table replying to another work email. THAT’S 180 TO 360 WHOLE ACTUAL SECONDS OF MY LIFE I WON’T GET BACK compared to the zero brew time of just-stir-it-instant-tea.
And so, after a few weeks of undrinkable weak tea and despite my very best of intentions, I switched back to teabags - fairtrade obs, I haven't abandoned all my morals just yet.
I was lamenting this very great struggle of not doing the thing I wanted to do but in fact doing the very thing I didn’t want to do, when I was challenged by a good friend to see it as a spiritual practice.
BOOM. Quite possibly the only thing that could convince me to change my attitude and behaviour. You know I love a spiritual practice.
Anything can become a spiritual practice once you are willing to approach it that way – once you let it bring you to your knees and show you what is real, including who you really are, who other people are, and how near God can be when you’ve lost your way." Barbara Brown Taylor
And so, you'll now find me trying to use those 3 to 6 minutes to breathe slowly and remind myself that the world will keep spinning whether or not I wait these 3 to 6 minutes, that my value as a person isn’t measured by my productivity in those 3 to 6 minutes (or any other time for that matter) and that these 3 to 6 minutes are a tinsey tiny act of resistance to culture that desires me to be constantly running from one thing to the next - even if its just to check my inbox.
Grab yourself some looseleaf tea and join me?
Break the bread. Pour the wine. Walk slowly and let the tea brew.