Some time ago I was introduced to a Swahili proverb that I love and always come back to: "Haraka haraka haina baraka." It translates to "In hurry there is no blessing."
It is so easy to think that we should hit the ground running on the 1st of January in order for this year to be just right. Resolutions! Motivation! Momentum! Gusto! are all words that come to mind when I think about the culture of "New Year, New You." This idea often carries all the way through the year, every Monday feeling like it should be the beginning of a new week-long sprint. That is a lot of sprinting!
While there is a time and place for hurrying, when we make a habit of it, we tend to miss a lot. Not only do we forget things and make mistakes, but we miss connections with others. We miss out on moments to connect with ourselves. Zipping past moments of joy, we cultivate overwhelm and burnout. We end up feeling exhausted, and when we finally slow down it feels like we are failing to keep up, rather than choosing self-care.
When we slow down, intentionally, we increase our ability to take in everything around us without getting overwhelmed. It can create more space between a stimulus and our reaction to it. This means we have more capacity to process experiences (positive or negative). Remember, what is slow for you may be fast for someone else so there's no need to look around to figure out what pace is best for you.
As we enter this new year, I invite you to do so gently, and with ease. This is YOUR path. You're the only one traveling it. You are not behind, or ahead of, anyone. No need to hurry today.