Why is everyone rushing nowadays? Where and what are they racing to?
It seems like the only time that any of us slow down anymore, is if they get struck down by an illness, or some other catastrophe.
That’s what happened to me this year. My race against the clock ended with me crashing and burning, knocking me down into a puddle of frayed nerves. Then I was able slow down, way down, and rest.
A funny thing happened to me, as I found myself in the slow lane of life, labeled “recovery.” From that vantage point, I started to notice how fast and furious people move. They’re running towards something, or more likely, away from something, as if their life depends on it. But why did they put themselves in that race? They don’t look happy. The phrase is “fast and furious,” not “fast and elated.”
Lately, when I go to the gym, I get up and go at 5 am. I do this partly because it invigorates my whole day, but mostly because I don’t want to be a part of that rat race that I see happens during normal hours. Even still, the few cars that are out on the road with me during that twilight hour, are speeding so fast, that you would think they were each transporting a woman in labor, rushing to deliver her baby! That’s my own imagined joke I think to myself as they race and seem to want to run me off the road at 5 am (mind you, with no one else around blocking their way in the other lane)! I think: “Oh how exciting, there’s a woman about to give birth, and they’re racing to the hospital! But wait! The hospital is the other way!” (huh… it’s funnier when I think this at 5 am).
Again, there’s hardly anyone on the road at that time, no “traffic”, and certainly no one in their way. So why are they racing? How can you have so much aggression even before dawn breaks?
The spiritual masters, the most celebrated life coaches, and any given therapist, all teach you that the most fundamental self care exercise, is to breathe; to slow your breath, and deeply breathe. I think that this is what people are racing after. They’re not breathing properly, so there’s a panic inside. And they think that if they race after it, chasing what’s missing, then they’ll catch their breath. But they’ll never succeed that way. You have to slow down to catch your breath, not speed up.
So why are we out of breath? I think it’s a hazard caused by our “Age of Information.” We are bombarded with so much data, filling up our heads, that we are running to keep up with the onslaught, while also running away from it. It’s like there’s a twisted idea that once you reach inbox zero, then you can breathe! But that’s a fantasy. And you’ll never run out of posts to scroll, or finish all the videos, stories, memes and snaps, no matter how fast you go.
There’s a simple fix to this dilemma – shut your phone off.
I look around, and I see nothing but zombies. Everyone all around, staring down at the screens that are eating away at their eyes, literally and figuratively. Just the other day I was at the movies, and as soon as the last frame played at the end, the people in my row broke out their phones, and bowed their heads as the blue light fired up and radiated their faces, all while the credits were still rolling! It’s like they had to race to catch up to all the posts they missed while watching the big screen. They seemed compelled to stare at their phones. It totally looks like the modern version of zombies. The irony is not lost on me that I am writing something in the hopes of reaching many eyes, whether it be a phone, tablet, or monitor, and I know that in our day and age, we can’t permanently shut off from our devices.
But I also know that we need to take more time to breathe deeply. That’s the most effective way to slow down, and find yourself back in the present. Present awareness can help you question yourself why you feel that you need to race towards some other place than just where you are. I think we race to get away from all of the mental stimulation in our “always on” society, which leaves no room for feelings. We are so stuck in our heads, that our hearts get neglected, and we breath fast and shallow, which cuts us off from feeling anything but panic. This leads us to rush and race. We race to get away from this inner panic. And we race to search for help that might calm us down, and nurture our neglected hearts.
Mental stimulation is not a bad thing, but it is not supposed to be the only thing. We need to feel as well, with open hearts. And we need to breathe to keep our head and heart both going.
So hurry up, and breathe!
There is much Love here for you. ~ Foxzm