Written by Birgitta Kastenbaum,
featured guest blogger from the Foundations for Artful Success Program
Taking a step back can be just what we need.
Maybe all of us place too much emphasis on speed, taking a step back can be a very good thing.
My kids want to learn fast and grow up fast. We adults want to learn it all today, implement everything tomorrow and be successful by the weekend.
I am finding that each time I push myself to go faster and get more done, I get off track. I push myself to do more shows, grow my business faster, learn more techniques, and somehow it doesn't work.
I start too many things and get overwhelmed, or I am out of balance with the most important part in my life, my husband and children, and that is not a price I want to pay.
Life has a way of seeing if we can handle it's challenges, stay balanced and still move forward.
For some of us the challenge comes in the form of physical ailments, for some in a loss that needs to be mourned, for some it is the hard ships of not enough money, love or support.
No matter what it is, the underlying process that happens is the same; you start to feel alone, you feel disconnected and once you are in that space everything seems to fall apart because we experience a lack of support (even if we are in actuality supported quite well).
I just experienced this, my daughter who is nine and I needed to testify against a man charged with a sexual crime involving a young child. It is his second time being accused, the first time it involved my daughter and the case was settled with a guilty plea two years ago (he plead guilty in order to avoid a trial).
Having to see this man again and needing to testify in court with him sitting right there was really hard. I was so worried for my daughter and so angry at this man, it was a hard few weeks. I was in big overwhelm, trying to still work on my jewelry, work on my Artful Success classes, clean house, cook, help with homework etc. and after it was all done, I was an emotionally drained wreck. The verdict came back 11 guilty 1 not guilty which means we need to go back to court for a retrial in August.
All of a sudden I was not able to do any of it anymore, I was paralyzed trying to get moving but unable too.
So what happened to me? I forgot that sometimes we need to take a step back.
I was being hard on myself, beating myself up for not being able to keep up with it all, which only made me feel worse.
I was overwhelmed and instead of reaching out I retreated and then felt alone. I had a lot of support around me but I did not let anyone close enough to actually help me, when I finally did I was amazed at how it helped just to sit, we had cereal for dinner, curled up with the kids on the bed and watched the cooking channel, wore stuff we had not in a while because everything else was in the laundry that was piling up, and I started feeling better… So if you are waiting for me to run ahead and blaze the way please excuse me, but I will follow this time and am happy to let who ever wants to take the lead.
My plan is to take it slow, to know that opportunities will be there when I am ready for them, to do the work and trust that everything will fall into place. I might miss out on some opportunities but other doors will open. I actually think taking my time and going slow will help me make better choices, what a concept!
Whatever the reason for our slowdowns just allow them to be, don't push. The balance will shift once we have given the time and attention needed to whatever it is that is going on. Maybe making us slow down is the hearts way of reminding us that, as Tonya from Artful Success says, “We need to listen to the whispers of the universe unless you want to be hit over the head by a 4X4”.
And let me tell you that 4X4 hurts!
I took a step back and will take a nice confident step forward when the time comes.
By Birgitta Kastenbaum – artwear by birgitta