As I wrote in my previous blog post About being a fellow traveler I am currently enrolled in a training to learn the art of working with people. I recently came home from the second module where my fellow-students and I spent a week on the italian countryside, fully immersing ourselves in our education which is not only about training to be a counselor but also further deepening our own personal development.
Have you ever experienced doing inner work at a remote place and then re-entering the normal world again? For me this is really interesting because it makes me notice the pace in which many of us live from a different perspective.
To begin with, the pace of my body hasn’t exceeded the speed of walking for an entire week and all of a sudden I find myself in a car driving to the train station. As you know, Italy is famous for its great food but not so much for its relaxed driving. When I sit in the car I notice how glad I am for not having to sit behind the wheel in this insane traffic and try to lean into moving in a faster pace. At the train station, I then hurl my suitcase through a crowd of people in which some of them are running to catch a train. Running people I later also meet at the airport, trying to push themselves through security to catch their flight. Everywhere I go, it seems I meet people who are in a hurry. (well, except for my little village by the sea here in Spain: it seems the word hurry hasn’t been invented yet over here)
When I was living my city life in Stockholm it was difficult for me to realize the high pace I was automatically adapting myself to. Also I could catch myself running to the subway to not miss it for example. However traveling to visit my family and friends in Holland always made me more aware of the pace in which many of us live. In dutch cities, people literally seem to walk two steps in the same time it takes the swedes to take one step. Of course this is quite a generalization but spend some time on a terrace in a city in both countries, observing people and their pace of walking, and you will probably get my point. I have noticed how much it means to me to adjust my pace of walking to a pace that fits me instead of the pace of the people around me. All of a sudden I notice much more in my surroundings and it becomes easier for me to stay connected to myself. I can highly recommend it; slow down the pace of your walking and then experience what happens inside.
My teacher in the training gave us the following advice:
Allow yourself to get really bored.
Do you allow yourself from time to time to get really bored? I know I didn’t. From the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed, I was always occupied with something. Of course I also allowed myself to slow down from time to time but slowing down to the point of becoming really bored? I had to go back to my childhood sunday’s to remember how that felt.
But then I moved to Spain. And let me tell you: I got bored. Not in the beginning of course, when everything was new and exciting. But after having lived here for five months I finally have come to the point of Total Boredom. I would like to write now: And I’m loving it! But the truth is that I don’t really. It’s not such a nice feeling at all to be bored and I think that’s why many people tend to avoid it. But even though it’s not a nice feeling, it has proven to be immensely valuable to me!
What happened to me in slowing down my high-paced city living to the point of total boredom is that I could no longer escape myself. When you have absolutely nothing to do during your day and decide not to escape in any way, you will truly meet yourself. And lots of interesting things will come out of that space. What those turned out to be for me? I will write more about that in my next blog post, so to be continued for now!
Photo: José Martín Ramírez C – unsplash.com