Slow With the Flow

 
Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

 

By Salomé Gómez-Upegui

I adore slow mornings. On a perfect slow morning, I wake up and pour a fresh cup of coffee amidst the silence inundating the apartment. I sit cross-legged on the couch, staring out the window, and letting out a deep sigh. I feel peace, all is well in my world.

For a while, I allow myself to do nothing. It’s a lavish gift I love to start the day with; doing nothing. I breathe in, I breathe out, I close my eyes, I open them. I feel the sun on my face as it peeks through the mountains. On a perfect slow morning, I daydream inside this bubble of nothingness.

Soon enough, the bubble bursts. The name of the needle that does the trick is anxiety. Poof. Back to reality.

Reality is often a place where doing nothing triggers a tornado of guilt. The tornado goes round and round in my stomach as it suggests I should be doing something. I move from just being to just doing, and the storm seems to settle down. I do. I do. I do. I rush. I rush. I rush. I can’t feel the storm anymore. I’ve picked up the pace, I’m too busy hustling, winning the race I’ve signed myself up for.

I don’t need to tell you that we live in a world that seems to be spinning faster and faster each day, but I will. I will address the obvious, and refer to what you already know because I believe this glorification of velocity to be an important source of our collective angst.

We’ve been taught to believe fast is best, it’s efficient, it’s the way. Emails need to be answered, content must be produced, money must be made, and all of this must happen fast. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how soon you can get it done. Exhaustion and mindless hustling are honor badges that we’re urged to wear every day, especially as entrepreneurs.

In growing this magazine, I’ve often wondered if I’m growing fast enough. I think to myself, Will I succeed if I don’t move fast? Will I make it if I don’t hustle? For a project called Mindful Feminism, the irony is self-evident.

The universe has a way of sending crystal clear answers to all my random questions, and recently it was through an interview with Araki Koman, a stunning French creative coach, and illustrator who lives in Bali. She said to me, “as humans, we tend to think that struggling is necessary, that we need to go against the current to succeed, and that life has to be complicated. I’ve realized it doesn’t.” And wow did those simple words stick.

I dug a little deeper into this theme of easy living and realized it’s something I'd heard before without genuinely listening. Deepak Chopra calls it the law of least effort. In Taoism, it’s Wu-Wei, the practice of non-action, and they both refer to the fact that nature does not rush to succeed, on the contrary, it manifests abundance with effortless ease.

As I’ve allowed space and time for my creative self, I’ve realized slow is vital. Being, rather than doing, is essential because in that nothingness is where there’s space to truly create. I always assumed arduous work was the only path to abundance, but I’m beginning to understand that slow is the way to vibrate with the flow.

Between mindful living and fast existing, I want the first. I want peaceful mornings to be the rule, not the exception. I want to exit the race, abandon control, and trust the universe completely. I want to go slow, with the flow, knowing that the highest badge of honor I can wear, is embracing my sweet bubble of nothingness.

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