Posted by: ginalazenby | October 7, 2010

learning to be slow with the emphasis on BE

Learning about slowness……
Most of you know that I live in The Healthy Home Retreat in North Yorkshire and open it up for courses now and then. For some time now I have felt the need to retreat so much that I have not been able to open it up at all!  I’ve been wondering how to explain my withdrawal and while holding that question I chanced on a book. In fact of dropped into my hand … and it said “Slow North Yorkshire”.  I thought “That’s it! that’s me” ……I have spent last few years learning to be slow, letting nature be my teacher. It’s been an interesting journey because I am very good at doing FAST, in fact I am very good at DOING, full stop. I’ve been learning how to BE ….

While I have been going through this period I have obviously felt very unproductive in fact I have taken to calling these last few years my ‘lost decade’ which is an extremely unhelpful way of framing anything!  I have felt so very unproductive but I do realise that my energy has been going in to creating a new way of being. In fact I like I have been creating a new me or more accurately allowing a new me to emerge.  I’ve had to do that away from the hustle and bustle of ‘normal’ activity. Does that resonate with you?   Do you feel like you are forming/emerging something new and different.

I have noticed that i cannot tolerate hard work and stress.  What I mean by that is if it feels difficult and unenjoyable then I simply cannot proceed, an internal brake comes in. Whereas before I would have pushed through, gritted my teeth (and let me tell you they are showing signs of being over-gritted!) and then recovered later … now this is no later. The qualities of grace and ease are my guiding stars.  No matter what my logical mind says about HAVING to do something by a certain date …. if I can’t align myself around that then I just have to let it go.  I really have been teaching myself to live in the flow, move from moment to moment with the smallest amount of planning.

I did used to be the a Master Planner with a TO DO list that would rival the Captain’s for a voyage at sea for a year. I would put TUESDAY at the top of the list of jobs but it would probably have been better to write NOVEMBER. Now I have given that up as I have lost the ability to juggle in my head what needs doing by when. Instead I allow for the Universe to guide me and provide easier ways for things to happen. I have shifted from being caught up with the Process and knowing HOW things have to be done to simply knowing that I want them done but not being attached to when and how.  When you are a bit of a perfectionist with a strong northern work ethic then there’s potential for massive resistance!  But as I say, if I teach flow then I have to live in flow …. all the time. If I teach feminine wisdom then I have to allow my own wise self to guide me. Some time ago I resigned from being the General Manager of the Universe, an occupation I fell into somewhere along the line, and I’m taking life more slowly so that I can allow what needs to happen to emerge. It has taken a few years of practice but I feel much more serene. As much as I might want something to happen by a certain date ….. I have come to realise that everything has a divine timing and there is a  universal wisdom which knows much better than I do about WHEN is the right time.

So I have shifted into being a human being rather than a human doing and that has called for an inordinate amount of trust. There is a sign in my office which reads “the Universe is always working in my favour” and I totally believe that. My inner guidance is reminding me that all will come about as it should, all my needs will be taken care of and I can give up needing to know when something should happen or how long it takes to emerge. That’s a much more nourishing way of being.  Jane Fonda talked insightfully in her autobiography of finally slowing down after the breakdown of the third marriage (to Ted Turner) and instead of living life at break-neck speed, she started to live her life at soul speed.  That’s what I have been doing these last few years … living at soul speed and being Slow in North Yorkshire.

Everything that I am engaged in is taking longer that I would like but how I know that I AM on the right track, even though I am not clear what that is exactly, and whenever anything happens the timing is perfect.

Does this resonate with you at all?



  1. Wow, thank you very much for sharing where you are at. Inspiring words of wisdom and self-reflection. Awesome! Love & Light, Gabriele

  2. Dear Gina,
    Today, I discovered you on an interview with Nick Williams and low & behold I have now been able to discover your wondeful website.
    I just wanted to say thank you for answering a question that has been nagging deep within for some months now.
    I have too felt mysteriously hollow for some time now, I havent been able to find an answer anywhere. Like you I have found myself slowly curling up into a ball like a hedgehog anticipating Winter. My life emotionally has been in first gear for so long that I just didnt know how to slow down I kept my foot firmly on the gas in fear of what slowing down might show me.
    Alas, around 18 months ago both my husband & myself reached burnout, in brief, four bereavements in 6 years, loss of business after 20 years, loss of our home due to the credit crunch, loss of our jobs through stress. Surrounded by so much loss that running anymore was just not an option there was no energy, there was little hope.
    As you have expressed there was no more pushing through the brake was firmly on & we were going nowhere.
    The silence & stillness have at times been so very uncomfortable, you yearn to get that feeling of aliveness back in your heart,but try as you might it eludes you day after day, month after month until before you look round another year has passed.
    But, today your wonderful explaination of how this precious time of just being has given me so much hope for the future. You are so right this time & energy has been about emerging a new way of being.
    Looking within an allowing as you say, your own wise self to be your guide.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey


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