In Defense Of The Long & Slow

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We live in a fast culture. We’re all in a hurry. We need it all summarized for us into tiny, compact parcels of information. We rush off to the next thing.

Millions of bits of data invisibly fly past our heads every second, faster than breathing.

Today I saw a woman write online that she is insulted when she opens up an email and it’s long. How dare they not respect my time?! She is actually that angry about it. How dare someone create a piece of art that requires her to sit down and slow down enough to read it?

I watch as several people comment indignantly, agreeing.

Slow and nuanced has become a personal affront, it seems.

Shorten your captions on Instagram photos, it will get you more followers and likes.
Blogging is dead, it’s all about short peppy videos now. Stop writing, make videos.
No one reads long posts anymore.

All of the above are pieces of advice I have received from “experts” and colleagues over the years. When I’m in a place of insecurity and self-doubt it has caused me distress and pain.

It has triggered in me all of the inner child stories about how I am not good enough. It triggers the same in everyone I talk to who received the same feedback. How can you feel good enough when the natural way in which your soul expresses is not a cute, peppy, short video, and therefore “not something anyone wants”?

Then we translate this into my soul, my heart, the expression that brings me joy is unwanted. Unloved. Rejectable. Unworthy. Unacceptable.

And then I’m sitting in front of a waterfall with my clients on retreat, over a long, slow, leisurely breakfast. The kind of meal that has enough space for deep, soulful conversation to emerge. And one of the woman says, I love your long messages. Every time I get one, I go make my coffee and I know I need to sit down and take the space because I’m in for a journey.

That one sentence says everything.

This is my homage to slowness and space.
This is my song for the intricate, nuanced dance of creating the space & stillness that is required when we sit with the soul of a thing.

It is not something that can be rushed. It is not always something that can be fit into a cute, neon, bite-sized blurb to be gobbled up in between subway stops.

Just like a good piece of dark chocolate, a work of art sometimes asks that we truly savor it.

It requires a slow devouring. Letting the molecules of its unique flavor burst one by one in your wanton mouth, revealing itself to you.

Delighting.
Suprising.
Triggering.
Angering.
Saddening.
Exhilarating.
Amusing.
Enraging.
Transcendent.
God.

A good work of art is a mirror, a panoply of the human terrain.
It reveals something we never knew about ourselves, to us.

And these things…they require
Slowing
Down.

Breathing. Noticing.
Appreciation.

Not running off to the next thing, never fully taking in the moment before us.

My love, are you really too busy to allow yourself the gift of slowly inhaling the beauty around you? To let yourself be awed, overwhelmed, titillated, overtaken, broken open by the present moment?

Are we really okay with accepting empty-caloric, cheap, surface-level, artificially pigmented, bite-sized pieces of information as our new form of pleasure?

Have we really become a humankind of the fast, half-orgasm, instead of the moan that takes its time, working its way from the tips of your toes, to the crown of your buzzing head, scintillating throughout your neurons, blasting through your third eye into a whole other level of light for hours afterward?

If you find yourself offended by the long and the slow.
If you find yourself checking the time before you will even listen to the full song of a thing.
If you find yourself impatient in front of a slowly unfolding visual,

I have questions for you, for me, for all of us…

When was the last time you allowed space for your heart to unfold at its own natural rhythm?
When was the last time you allowed real, bone deep pleasure?
When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of forgetting about time and lost yourself in the sheer joy of something your heart loves?

When was the last time you heard your desires?
Listened to the voice of your soul?

This is my stand for all things long and slow.
All things real and potent.
All that requires space, silence and devotion.

Don’t sell out your soul and chop it into tiny parcels of information
for likes, views or recognition.

Open your mouth and let the thing unfold as it desires to.

If you find yourself offended by length and time, consider that sometimes the length
of a thing is an initiation for you to slow down. Maybe the long and slow is your medicine.

If you find yourself afraid to write what your heart wants, because you hear the voices of the bite-sized, speed committee at your back, consider this:

The longest post I ever wrote, was the most viral.
The longest ad I ever created, was the highest converting.
The longest audio I ever recorded, created the biggest breakthroughs.

Open your mouth and let the thing unfold as it desires to.

Because if it’s good, length and time don’t matter.
If it’s pure, it’s a long slow orgasm for the soul.
And if it’s you, that’s what really matters.

 

Lisa-sig-black


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