This week I am challenging myself. I am challenging myself to do one of the hardest things. I am challenging myself to drive the speed limit. To drive the speed limit without music playing, without NPR on. To drive the speed limit in silence. To drive the speed limit in silence down the highways of Southern California, where no one drives the speed limit and no one drives in silence. Where people yak on their phones even though it’s illegal. Where people scream down the highway at speeds of 85 and 90 mph, easily. I am doing this, but barely. I am crawling down the highway, clinging to the right lane, holding my breath as the cars fly by. Kind of shocked that I’m usually one of those cars. Definitely convinced that my speedometer is broken (65 feels so slow). And really pretty sure that this silence thing will push me over the edge.
And somehow I’m actually doing it. Somehow I still make it to work without losing my mind. Somehow I find myself moving beyond the madness that I feel in this slow quiet, and I actually begin to settle into this slow quiet. I find my own thoughts and I sink into the silence. And then the silence begins to fade away and my thoughts begin to carry their own tune. Without Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 pumping their dramatic lyrics into my consciousness, I find my creativity kicks in and my brain actually works in interesting ways while traveling down this highway at snail-like, legal speeds. Without NPR updating me on the latest news with witty commentary, I consider a new business venture, compile half of a blog post, contemplate the best way to nail down my handstand. I find that my brain is actually productive, actually quite active, actually quite interesting in this caffeinated state, traveling at the legal limit in a silent car. It’s new. It’s sort of fresh. It’s kind of interesting. It’s kind of maddening.
But I’m doing it and it’s kind of cool in its simple way. What are you doing to slow down? To step outside of your speed vortex and search for slow. Challenge yourself to slow down, to give your mind a chance to explore the many things you’re usually too rushed to consider.