I was sitting at a table on a sidewalk cafe this morning when a woman hurriedly walked by. Another woman, sitting two tables away recognized her and stood up to greet her. The first woman asked the second how she was doing. The second woman said, “Hectic and Insane” as they quickly walked away together chatting about their hectic and insane lives. I wondered how life would be for them if they slowed way down.
It seems that in today’s culture we’re all trying to outdo each other in busyness. It’s become our red badge of courage. I know because I lived that life and was proud of it until it got the best of me. How did it get the best of me? It took eight years of seventy hour work weeks. . . I simply ran out of energy. I burned out. I couldn’t keep up the pace so I finally quit the hectic life to get the rest I so desperately needed but didn’t know.
That wasn’t the last time I decided to play the fast game on the fast track. I convinced myself repeatedly that I needed and wanted to achieve as much as possible in the shortest time. The price I chose to pay was always high but I didn’t give any attention to it. I was serving others, providing for my family, and even having fun. It took a great loss to knock me off my high horse, hit the ground, and stay there for awhile.
That time of grounding was very difficult but it was also the best thing that could have happened to me. I learned to slow down, to dive deep into my unconscious motivations and come to grips with parts of me I needed to change. Like Henry Ford’s customers I was looking for a faster horse. What I found was something wonderfully new and different that I couldn’t have discovered in my hectic and insane life.
I talk with people every day who are looking for a faster horse or so they think. We sit together and through collaborative coaching I’m able to slow them down enough to imagine something different. Their perspective changes. They begin to see what they want but don’t consciously know. The light bulb goes on, the inner shift takes place and they are amazed at how, metaphorically, a horse can turn into an automobile.
Socrates said that the beginning of wisdom is to know you don’t know. It’s the knowing we’re born with but through our cultural conditioning we come to think we do know. Children are full of wonder. Wonder opens us to mystery. In mystery, we know we don’t know which helps us to know. What a lovely paradox. How often do you think you know when you don’t? Have you ever been in conflict with someone else like that?
It’s only when we slow way down, measure our thoughts, words, and actions that we begin to live into the wisdom of Life. Here, there are no hectic and insane thoughts or actions. Here, we connect with our Essence, our Being. Carve out some time today to simply sit, write, draw, meditate, or be with someone you love in a quite way. Slow way down to experience the wonder and wisdom that’s here. imagine a different horse . . .