I am a person who moves quickly, thinks quickly and has worked very hard to develop the ability to slow down and pace myself. I am also blessed with the ability to sort through, dissect, synthesize and act upon complex and large amounts of information, going from A to Z in a heartbeat. Which means that I don’t always savor the process that has occurred in getting from A to Z.
Consequently at those times when I jump so far ahead of myself, I form conclusions that have not had time to simmer, percolate and come to their natural point of information. I have on more than one occasion, acted on an inaccurate conclusion I made and realized after the fact that had I simply slowed down and taken more time in the process my actions would have been different, as well as the resultant outcome. The side effect of this behavior is that often what occurred in between is a blur of constant motion with some memories lost altogether.
Now some might say that lack of discipline in staying the course and proceeding in methodical fashion is the issue. And, to some degree I might agree. However, discipline has never been one of my pitfalls. Training as a classical ballet dancer taught me all the subtleties, nuances and foundations that discipline grows from. If anything I believe it is possible to use that discipline as the anchoring factor that propels you in an even steadier course which at times makes realization of how much you are truly missing of the process transparent in its immediate effect.
When it comes to spiritual matters the importance of not jumping too far ahead is a foundational warning offered as the student progresses. The excitement of wanting to see what lay around the next corner and the expectation of what that is can at best keep you from truly connecting to the process; and at worst, lead you into some very deep waters whose undertow can be hazardous. If we think of the spiritual learning process as one that appears as a singular path at first glance, but reveals its hidden off shoots and side tracks only when you begin to walk thoughtfully and carefully upon it, there is more tendency towards slowing down so none of the finer points of experience and opportunity will be missed along the way.
The interesting note to this is that the ending point of this singular path may be the same regardless of which meandering you take, but the experience and information you bring to it will solely be based on the route you’ve taken. Now, before I go any further let me confess that despite my best efforts at keeping myself mindful of these facts, human nature takes over and more often than I would care to admit, routine sets in and I am off to the races at breakneck speed again. So, these are some strategies that I use to keep myself on track.
Incorporating meditation into my spiritual practice has made a decided difference in my approach. Setting aside time to sit quietly and be fully present in the experience of the meditation sets the tone for exercising this discipline in all of your endeavors. Having a topic of exploration as a component of some of these meditations is also another way to focus the mind and energy in a way that is naturally supportive of slowing down the process and allowing for scrutiny from all different perspectives before making commitment, formulating judgment or coming to conclusion.
Take regular present awareness breaks. In any given situation, give a moment of pause to check in with yourself and make sure that you are being mindful of what is occurring around you. Make note of any things that may stand out in the situation you are engaging in and in the evening as you lay in bed, revisit the events of the day, recalling those points of note and how giving pause to acknowledge them may have affected the outcome.
One of the goals of all magickal and spiritual endeavors is that of effective and balanced action informed and exacted in an integrated way. Maintaining that state of balance requires periods of charging ahead using the catalytic fuels of will to keep inertia from settling in. And, periods of rest and purposeful slowing down so the lessons and achievements made can be fully processed, digested and serve to nourish future action. If your mundane and spiritual paths are entwined in this manner of surge and recoup the engines of real progress will propel you from point A to point B securely anchored and rooted in the knowledge gained and open and receptive to the knowledge to be received. And, most importantly, by the time you reach your conclusion at Point Z the memories of the journey will be the deciding factor in what new journey will be taken.
So, the next time someone tells you to “slow down and smell the roses” do exactly that. In fact, the personal quote that I use on my website and much of my correspondence is my constant reminder to take pleasure in each step taken…
“Where your journey begins and where your journey ends
are but cornerstones of the limitless potential
of the many paths taken between”
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