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Monday, 4 July 2011

What's The Rush?

I try to give myself lots of time to get places, lots of time to get things done. Life is busy. And I HATE rushing. So much so, in fact, I implemented a "no rushing" policy in my life a couple of years ago. There are always those days where that doesn't really work out, but for the most part I've adhered to my policy quite diligently. That's not to say I am meandering through life; sauntering along with nowhere to go. Quite the opposite. I'm extremely active, and love being that way. But the inner attitude and energy that comes from being in a rush is different. There's a clutching, forceful quality to it that really is only another form of resistance. Rushing is, simply, totally unnatural. It creates so much unnecessary stress.

When I think of beautiful natural things in life - like a fine wine, the blossoming of the cherry trees in spring, the 9 months it takes to "grow" a baby, the hatching of lil' eggs into baby birds - none of it involves rushing. Rushing is a product of our modern age. There's "never enough time" because everyone is just always "so busy". And, as a result, everyone is always in such a hurry to get everywhere.

I've been doing a fair bit of commuting to nearby cities like Hamilton, Burlington and Toronto on a regular basis. Sometimes - I really enjoy the drives. But more often than not I'm barreling down the highway at 120+kms/hr and, even in the early hours of the morning, it's astounding how people are tailgating each other and trying to inch the average speed up a few dozen km's....everyone seems to be in such a rush! Like - where's everyone going at 7:30am on a Saturday or Sunday morning?! Is it really that urgent that they have to drive like maniacs?! Hardly.

And as happy and mesmerized as I am by technology and the wonderful things it can do for us - it really truly adds to this underlying feeling of pressure to hurry and speed everything up. It's like we are becoming addicted to the speed of everything happening instantly. Especially in our relationships. Between the constant texting, skyping, emailing and all the internet dating, the majority of our communication is now happening through electronic devices. In my last relationship I got to a point where I cringed whenever the phone beeped. I spent more time answering texts than actually connecting with my partner. I eventually grew to resent being chained to my phone 24 - 7.

Sometimes I'm so aware of this distasteful, pushy feeling of urgency - to connect with people on the Web or at a social function, to forge new friendships we think we ought to have at this particular age or stage in our personal lives, to make people love us before they race off and find somebody else to love more. I keep seeing this everywhere....and it's exhausting. It's like people have forgotten the fine art of allowing true intimacy and trust to grow and develop naturally over time. As well, what's so wrong with a little voluntary solitude?! I am, by nature, a highly social person. I am, also, by nature someone who deeply enjoys a little quiet time with my own thoughts. Since when did spending quality time with yourself, to gently reflect and hit the reset button, become such a loathsome event?! Do we really have to always be attached at the hip to another person in order to feel secure?! You see so many people waking up a few months (or a few years) beside the person they rushed to marry/move in with, only to realize that once the honeymoon is over they are completely un-compatible. They suddenly recognize - I don't really know this person. In fact, they don't really know me either. Wow. In fact - I don't even think I know myself! Duh. Personally, I just can't really cope with all this false speedy intimacy. I simply don't feel comfortable sharing my inner sanctum that fast; or being the receptacle of people who do. (It's just creepy and desperate.)

So although it becomes increasingly difficult it seems, I'm sticking to my "No Rushing Policy". I'd rather take my time - pick my own berries in the summer, savour and enjoy creating a special meal from market to plate and take the long way home to avoid the highway whenever possible. Why not? That process of gradually unraveling the mystery of life, or getting to know someone, truly -from the inside out, is meant to be approached with great care and attention. It's one of life's greatest gifts. It is sacred. The clutching and clinging that's bred out of our need to run from ourselves (for whatever reason) will eventually catch up to us. And, when it does, Nature will only guide us back to what is natural - allowing things to take their course and reconnecting to the small quiet voice within that is constantly trying to guide us to our ultimate bliss and greatest joy.

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