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The “Slow Down to Speed Up” Paradox

August '12

One of August’s gifts for me is a week’s vacation in northern New England. This year I returned to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for five days of relaxation with family. After more than a decade away, I had forgotten the sheer joy of hanging out in this most ancient of mountain regions – whether driving through a covered bridge, or hiking to a waterfall, or sipping wine with different generations on the deck of a log cabin overlooking the village of Jackson, where blue mountains define the horizon.

At the end of five magnificent, restorative days, I headed for the coast of Maine to join different family members for two more days. Early morning walks on the beach in glistening sunshine, spending time with different generations again, and the simple pleasure of Maine lobster rolls (yes I said lobster rolls) restored my soul. I arrived home rested, at peace, and with greater clarity about my next steps. No surprise!

We all know how vacations can move us into this place of relaxation, but often forget the benefits this down time brings – like creativity and clarity. So we quickly return to life as usual without much thought. We could, however, bring some vacation lessons home along with crystals found in mountain caves or the shells collected on coastal beaches.

How about you? Could you benefit from a vacation-like slowing down? Has your workload been increasing of late? (As companies go lean and mean, few folks have escaped this reality.) Or is the Internet gobbling up more and more of your time? (While technology puts a wealth of information immediately at our fingertips, it can require hours to sort through.) Or has the pace of your life just been accelerating in general? Regrettably, faster does not always mean better – especially if you’re like a gerbil on a wheel, running like crazy and going nowhere.

So how do you get off that wheel and move forward with purpose? By focusing on those activities that reflect the real you. You need to slow down and take some time to discover the truth of who really you are and what you really want. Then you can move forward purposefully.

At midlife, halting to unearth this deeper truth is essential if you want to create a significant second half to your life. Once you have this fundamental knowledge in hand, you will be able to locate a truly meaningful life path. So therein lies the paradox: you need to “slow down to speed up.”

There are many ways to support this reflective process that is so crucial for a successful midlife transition. My soon-to-be-released, journaling program, Reinvent Your Life ~ Write Now is one of them. As a Midlife Discovery subscriber, you will be the first to hear about its launch, which features a special offer for the first five folks who decide to embark on the program. Watch your inbox for the announcement of this 9-week program that will empower you to pause, examine yourself and your life, and then accelerate your entry into a more fulfilling second half.

Meanwhile – do savor these last days of summer!





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