“Faster, Higher, Stronger” and “Slower, Deeper and Gentler”
My wonderful teacher Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar from Happiness Studies Academy (https://www.happinessstudies.academy/) brought to us, students, these 2 “slogans” in order we could reflect on. They touched me so deeply because I have been battling around these two mantras during the last years and somehow trying to find the best balance that suits me.
In my perspective, I believe we are spiritual livings having a human experience.
So, when we are born, we are expressing our pure beauty, we are most of the time just “being”: breathing, being pure as an innocent soul. As time goes by, due to human nature and the way our brains are wired, we need to cope with a series of mechanisms to survive.
All of us want to achieve something; to perform our best, to be loved, to be seen, to be accepted. Therefore, we start to build upon this “innocent soul” with a lot of protection layers and start to enter in our “doing” mode: performing tasks, competing; proving our value.
We want to go higher in our careers and achievements.
The “faster, higher, stronger” are the ones that can thrive more in this world. Isn’t it?
So, do we!
There is nothing wrong with it. I imagine many of us live most of the time by this mantra because this is the way our society works, the way we are demanded, the way we are conditioned.
I was also living mostly by this mantra and I do not regret it as I learnt a lot along this journey so far, I was able to be challenged and achieve many things in my life as well.
When we moved to The Netherlands, I had to quit my previous job and I felt a hole inside me as I found myself lost, wondering who I was without my job. I realized that my sense of value was too much identified with it.
So, I realized that I had the opportunity to go “slower, deeper and gentler”. I wanted to find out more about me, about life in itself. I had the opportunity not to demand so much on me as that was my usual behavior; but to be kinder and gentler with myself. No need to hurry. I engaged myself in activities such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga and many others. I finally had the opportunity and time to “do” less and just “be” more.
Questioning myself which were the most meaningful moments from my life, I realized that there were plenty of these beautiful and grateful moments. They were the moments in which I was feeling complete, “in the flow”. Do you know when you have these moments that you don’t realize that timing is passing by? These moments where you feel deeply connected with yourself and the ones around you? These moments when you are enough, you don’t need to prove anything to anyone, you are in peace.
These moments for me where when I was in love and kissing or just looking into my husband’s eyes, when my children were born, when I was holding my babies in my arms and singing to them; on vacations, having fun with closer friends and family. There were many moments in my work too – when I was fully relaxed and happily committed to the ones around me.
Reflecting on this, I noticed that I was not so aware during these moments how present I was and how blessed we all human beings can be. The reality is that we pass most of our time in automatic mode doing something. (As said, this is how our brains are wired).
Actually, I feel these moments much more frequently because I am more aware of them and also because I give myself permission to be slower, deeper and gentler. These moments happen in a simple walk in the nature, practicing my yoga, listening to a beautiful song. These are the moments when we are mindful and allow ourselves to be fully present and appreciate the simpler moments of life.
So, I would say that “Faster, Higher and Stronger” is the mantra from our mind/body and “Slower, Deeper and Gentler” is the mantra from our Soul.
Both mantras serve us! We need both of them.
Due to our mind conditioning, it is easier to be constant in this automatic pilot trying to achieve something the whole day. The problem comes when we just don’t know how to establish health boundaries and take care of ourselves. Allowing ourselves more space to go slower, deeper and gentler is a good service we are doing to our soul. We can easily access our creativity, intuition and find peace.
We just need to have enough maturity and awareness to know when it is time to switch from one mantra to the other mantra – along our daily life. We don’t need to wait to get older to appreciate more the moments that are always available to us; but we simply don’t notice them.
Notice how the standard mode that most of us live most of our lives is: “doing”, “achieving and having things” and finally find time to “being”.
Instead of “doing”, achieving” and “being” why not revert this order to: “being”, “doing” and then “achieving”?
Not sure if we are prepared to do that since an early age, but I am sure, the more we get awareness and maturity, we will allow ourselves more moments with the second mantra.
Try and check by yourself how beneficial it can be to your health and overall happiness.
What do you think about this?
How can you incorporate more “Slower, Deeper and Gentler” moments for you?
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