Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Instant Gratification vs Balance

Lately I've encountered some reminders of our cultures' instant gratification mindset in which waiting for something isn't our way of life. Everything must be accomplished yesterday. Not today or tomorrow, but now at the latest. People are actually getting rich inventing ways to speed things up. I realize that too slow is too slow. But too fast leads to frustration, stress, strained relationships, and increased use of anti-anxiety and blood pressure medications. Some say fast is more efficient, but there's a difference of opinion as to the meaning of efficient.

What started me thinking about this was recently watching a large crab sideling across my back yard. I've no idea how he got there, but he seemed to know where he was going. There's a lake in my vicinity, but judging from the crab's speed, it probably would have taken him 2 weeks to get to my back yard. Maybe he was one of those coincidences that I don't believe in. Maybe I needed a reminder, and he was happy to oblige. Actually, he made me think of balance. Crabs generally move slowly, but they can move quickly when they need to. Maybe that's the way we need to live, instead of running constantly on high speed through life.

Balance has advantages. By moving slowly when we need to, we have time to think before we act, to ask questions and gather helpful information before making important choices and decisions. And we end up with fewer mistakes to regret. While I watched the crab, I thought of all the times I got taken by pushy salespeople, because I didn't take time to think before I signed on the dotted line. Then I criticized myself for my stupid actions. I'm still working on letting go of those regrets.

Balance is also useful for more than doing things with better judgment. It allows us time to experience the wonders life has for us. Do you really savor the food you eat? Do you know what a cool breeze on a hot day feels like? Do you ever walk barefoot in the grass? Do you enjoy the childlike excitement of waiting to open a birthday gift?

When my children were small, we used to ride down hills together on our snow sled in Pennsylvania. And we didn't time it to see how fast we could get to the bottom. I miss those days. How did I get so caught up in this fast-paced life? Maybe I just unconsciously followed the crowd and ended up in the fast lane.

Do you need to do and have everything now? Or would you like to experience more of life when you learn to expand your consciousness to a life of balance? You create your life, and you can have it your way. This is possible. But be conscious enough to choose wisely.

Enjoy the journey.

Marilyn

PS. Don't be impatient with old folks moving slowly through the grocery store. They've earned the right.

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