Last week, whilst driving to my new gig at Visions Medical Center, I was traversing the Mass Pike, Route 90 West, when a State Patrolman appeared in my rear view mirror. At another time in my life, that would have been cause for accelerated heart rate and a delicate foot on the brake because I would have been going too fast. This past Wednesday, however, it only caused me to smile. I was driving the posted speed limit. In fact, you should know that I was the only one doing so.
After about a mile, he flipped on his siren and careened around me like he was being pursued by banshees. There was, of course, the possibility that he received a radio message which was the cause of his sudden flight, but if the dirty look I got is any indication, what happened was that he got mad that I was driving too slowly. As they say in Texas, bless his heart.
The next day a friend called and in the course of a telephone visit, he confessed that he is overextended. Too many yeses have crowded his calendar and he doesn't have enough free, unscheduled time to finish his novel -- something that he really wants to do. He decided that he needs to start saying a few more nos so he will have the time to write.
Then I saw the Jim Carrey film Yes Man. It made fun of the primary path of my spiritual practice, (I know it wasn't personal) which is to say yes to what appears in my life. It also made a good point if snidely. If we're always saying yes, it doesn't mean very much. Yes has to have a value to it, and an acceptance in it. My practice is to say yes to what is, not only to what I want. He ends up crazed with his yes practice. Instead, mine slows and simplifies my life.
You've heard of the Slow Food Movement, an answer to the fast food so readily available in developed nations? Heard of the Slow Sex Movement? It's based on a Polynesian way of relating. (See the May/June 2009 Spirituality & Health) I'd like to inaugurate the Slow Life Movement.
I looked up the word slow. It comes from Common Teutonic roots which mean below average rapidity. It seems to me that everyone on Earth would benefit from a life slow-down -- definitely below average rapidity -- except those who already live close to natural rhythms. Rapidity has become a false value in our world. ASAP! STAT! I'm on it! Let's do it! Go! Go! Go!
What's the hurry?
And where's the enjoyment that life alleges to bring us?
Nature doesn't live anywhere near hyper drive velocity. She doesn't have to, and if we will slow down just enough to acknowledge that we too are a part of nature, then we will naturally and expediently slow down.
If we're going so fast, we can't enjoy ourselves, our families, our meditation practice, our health, our exercise, our friendships, our conversations, our communities, our dinner, what are we doing?
I never in my life saw a tombstone that read: She got so much done. Instead, at the end of a life, what's celebrated is the being of the decedent. Devoted mother. Loving brother. Dear husband. Precious daughter.
The Slow Life Movement is the Enjoy Life Movement. Even if you, like I, believe in reincarnation, you'll get to enjoy the precious life you have right now, and that, dear one, is what we're here for.
Visit Susan Corso's website at www.susancorso.com.