The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

Down Gearing

In Conscious Living, Terminology on September 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm

IMG_8991Do you feel that things are hazy, your energy is low and that it’s hard to get enthusiastic? Do you feel as though you have slowed down?

Noticing the need to slow down, down-size or down gear is usually a sign that you have become aware that what you are currently doing is heading toward disaster. So quite naturally, when we do notice that what we are doing is no good for us, we ‘put the brakes’ on our plans. And look at what we are doing  in an effort to regain a handle on the situation.

Despite the need to sometimes slow down in our lives, we generally do very badly at it!

And so, rather than noticing when life is careening out of control and simply adjusting our sails, often we continue what we are doing… knowing full well at isn’t going to end up serving us.

Pride often kicks in and we try to ‘keep on going’. Additionally, we judge our ‘backing down’, our defeat at having to step down or step away from what we are doing. Usually we feel the need to down gear at a time when things are going to fast or we are carrying way too much and are exhausted.

So, the instinct to ‘down gear’ is out of preservation, not humiliation. The truth is in those times we are asked to adjust ourselves and ‘bend rather than break’ to our situation, we are being prompted to do so temporarily. To ‘go slow’ because the road ahead is being repaired.

Rather than doing so with grace, often we struggle and strain and act as though the impulse is permanent. Blinded by our own needs, want to push forward and pride, we charge ahead regardless… and wonder why we end up exhausted, frustrated and impaled on whatever danger we were being ‘nicely told about’ by our instincts.

Gearing up has it’s place. Down gearing has it’s place also. Like shifting your gears down while driving to a lower revolution in order to drive more easily up a hill, you don’t just go from 1st to 2nd to 3rd to 4th and never do the reverse! Imagine driving your car the way we tend to live our lives, more, faster, further!

Slowing down is nature’s way of telling you that what you want in life is not ‘out there, further down the road’… but is right where you are; downgearing is a sign that you are overshooting your ultimate aim – the desire to be happy here and now.

Q. Do you judge yourself when you feel the need to down gear or ‘do less’ in life?

Q. What are the things you say about yourself when you are forced to slow down?


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