clouds

My friend was whispering when she said it to me, because of laryngitis. I rolled up my car windows and pressed the plastic of my phone hard against my cheek so I could hear. She whispered, “Sometimes you put your sail up, and all of a sudden you’re going really fast.”

When I get spiritual instruction it’s usually very heavy-handed. Very plain. Like a reader board on the side of the highway. But how often am I receiving subtle messages as well and just not hearing them? There could be butterflies every which way screaming at me with their sweet, gentle silences. But I don’t hear the call until it’s basically a neon sign.

“SLOW DOWN.”

My friend in her whisper, three wise writers in my inbox, a particularly nasty head cold…and the first day of Lent.

I can’t wait a second longer, to slow down. I have so much to do. Such a grand vision, such a deep desire for wholeness…the only way I have a chance is to fall deep into rest.

Life has a way of dressing itself as an emergency. Every moment seems urgent. Small children have a special way of putting the pressure on. That’s what I’m living. But, as I remember it, so do jobs.

There is panic over money — real but also manufactured — at various levels of economic privilege. There is the urge to accomplish, to be successful, to BE SEEN. There is making it to places on time. There is getting food on the table. Medicine. Relationships. Survival.

All the little tiny panics add up. They fill up a whole day. And then another one. And then another one, too. You wake up years later and wonder what happened to all those days.

It’s a nasty trick that you can slide so easily into this, even right from a spa treatment, from your meditation rug, right from church. But it’s a miracle that you can slide right back.

SLOW DOWN.

We’re in a constant state of change. All those things we planned aren’t happening. But new ones are. Like Tanya said to me, “Put your sail up.” And see how fast you move.

This moment. This moment. This one. No. THIS ONE. 

I can tell you something about this — having done it a hundred times if I’m a hundred days old — The scary thing about letting go of the emergency isn’t that you cease to move. It’s that you pick up wings. You’re thirty feet high and the shape of the landscape emerges into clarity.

Let go of the emergency. Let go of the weight. Let go of the fear that you are too much…or not enough. You may find you’re moving faster than you ever thought you could.