Monday, January 2, 2017

Move Slowly, But Do Not Recover Slowly

      Guess what happens when I speed up, rush around, multi-task, or simply fail to stop throughout the day to breathe and remove distraction, both internal or external? Well, it really doesn't take long before I feel frustration, angst and misery. I lose my peace, serenity, and whatever joy I may have felt upon waking up. Not being fully present and deliberate in both mind and body is a rather torturous way to move through life.

     Conversely, when I slow down and focus deliberately on everything I do, even the simplest of tasks like making coffee, putting away the dishes, packing up my truck, taking out the trash and recycling, building or fixing something, and yes, changing a reeking diaper ... I am perhaps exponentially more fulfilled and at peace.

     This is one of the secrets to recovery... and life. No rushing. We have a sign in the bathroom over the toilet that says, "We are rushing into eternity... Take it slow." I look at it every time I walk into the bathroom... before ignoring it completely, rushing out and trying to do ten things simultaneously while the kids scream in my face for fresh sippies and oat bars.

     I love the end of Cast Away, when Tom Hanks returns to the modern world after 4 years, stranded alone on an island, and as he turns the faucet on and off again, he realizes how much we take modern life and natural resources for granted, remembering the hour upon hour of torture he experienced to procure but a few drops of coconut juice to stave off starvation and death. Good movie.

     So while we move slowly, we recover fast. We can engage in rigorous and consistent action so long as our approach is calm and "slow." The way I move through life, the way I think, speak and act molds, shapes and ultimately defines my recovery. We can either rush through our inventory or we can do it carefully and thoughtfully. We can either rush through our exercise routine or remain distracted mentally as we flip through the propaganda on television... or we can just focus on what we're doing. We can think about our next Facebook post and guru selfie for our BS new-age spirituality site while meditating or we can meditate. By engaging mindfully, we actually get more done and recover faster.

     How I do something is more important than simply doing it, and it means the difference between real recovery or just going through the motions, detached from self, others, the world, God and Christ. Trust me, recovery is defined by how we approach everything, not just intellectually acquiring the slogans. If we simply memorize slogans, our recovery will simply amount to slogan recovery ;-)


  1. Thank you Charlie for helping us start the New Year right. In that same light. My desire this year is to have no goals, but to do each thing mindfully. Thank you for all the help you have given me and my family.

    1. My pleasure... and many undefined returns in 2017 ;-)

  2. This is why I chosen to subscribe...I hear what I am experiencing, recovery AND living life deliberately, with purpose and calm...Thanks C.