Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Move Slowly, But Do Not Recovery Slowly (Edited)


      Guess what happens when I speed up, rush around, multi-task, or simply fail to stop throughout the day to breathe and remove the endless distractions, both internal or external? It doesn't take long before I succumb to frustration, angst and misery. I lose my peace, my serenity, and whatever joy I may have felt upon waking up. Not being fully present and deliberate in both mind and body is a torturous way to move through life. Same with living in the past or the future, neither of which exist.

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

     This is one of the secrets to recovery... and life. No rushing. I have a sign in the bathroom 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, bolting out and trying to do ten things simultaneously while the kids scream in my face for ten other things.

     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.

     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 the television... or we can just focus on what we're doing. We can think about our next Facebook post or guru selfie while pretending to meditate... 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 ;-)

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