How timely, this topic popping into my head this morning.
Most of my adult life I worked hard and I worked long hours, as in 60ish hours a week for long stretches of time. It had to do with my mistaken belief that if I could just do enough, provide enough, produce enough, be GOOD enough, that I would matter, be of value. That I would feel seen and heard.
Let me rephrase that. "Rubbish," she said, with great love and compassion for herself.
My own body finally said "Enough!" in 2009, as it manifested a severe anxiety disorder on my return to Kansas City after working and living in London for four years. You might want to disagree, saying the disorder was in my mind, not my body. Ahhh, but science has shown it's all connected.
My anxiety disorder was actually my body's manifestation of held trauma accumulated over my lifetime. To make a long story short, through six and a half years of Somatic Experiencing trauma recovery therapy, my body was able to, very slowly, release that trapped trauma energy and begin to heal.
It is said that your biography becomes your biology. Intriguing thought. I have found this to be true.
About the title: Go Slow and Prosper. How did this new way of thinking come about in my life? First and foremost, it showed up in therapy. Somatic Experiencing actually re-patterns the parasympathetic nervous system, creating new neural pathways over time. The key is that this must be done very slowly, through baby steps, because the nervous system doesn't particularly like change.
During my therapy sessions, Candy (my therapist), repeatedly reminded me to go slow:
- Slow down
- Let's take this slower
- We have all the time we need
- Baby steps
- Ok, let's stop here and see what happens
- Just see what happens
- This will take some time
- It's really important to go slow
- Don't try to rush it
- When you go slow, big shifts can happen
- You've worked really hard today, make sure to go slow
- Your body needs lots of rest
She was right. Totally right. It was hard for me to go slow; I wanted the quick fix. Unfortunately, there wasn't one for me, given the nature (length, depth, breadth over time) of my trauma. Over the years I would begin to cognitively understand and physically assimilate the truth, that for me, going slow helped protect me from overwhelm and re-traumatization.
Living in Doha in 2012, this awareness out pictured in my painting "go slow". It remains a constant loving reminder to this day.
It also allowed me to finally understand these truths: That I matter. I'm important. I'm good. I can be seen. There is more than enough for me. These may seem insignificant to some; for me, they were and are life altering.
Ok, so I choose to go slow, to limit the commitments and activities in my life, to allow more time to rest and renew. To be more mindful, in the moment. To settle and calm myself. With great love.
My decision to leave the well paid world of healthcare informatics consulting and begin a creative business factored in this awareness of going slow. As well as the awareness that I did not have to work long hours to be successful. I knew and I know this in my body. In my very being.
I set and continue to honor the intention that I am successful, living abundantly through nourishing the world with what nourishes me. I envision deposits into my Abundance Art checking account. I see my savings grow. I imagine how good it will feel to have more than enough to live comfortably, continue to travel the world, and be a good steward of my blessings. The very name of my business proclaims that abundance. I believe it. I receive it.
By the way, the phrase starving artist does not belong in my vocabulary. I'm following a path, laid divinely before me, unlimited in possibility, not limited by fear or feelings of not enough. Not anymore.
I go slowly and I prosper. Feels good. Feels great.
I've worked all morning. Go slow…
Time for the weekend to start.