A few months ago, I received an email from a woman named Karen. I met Karen at a conference in Rhode Island about 5 or 6 years ago. She explained that she was coming to Maui for Life Coach training in May. Since she receives my weekly inspirational blogs, she knew that I lived in Maui and asked if I could recommend a place to stay before and after the conference. I wrote back and invited her to stay with me. Even though we didn’t know one another well, I felt happy to reach out and have her stay with me. She thought it was a great idea and accepted the invitation.
We both woke up at the same time and as I came out of my bedroom, she asked, “Pat, How did you sleep?” I said, “I was awake at 4 am and God was speaking to me about the both of us. I would like to do my prayer and meditation first and then we can talk.” She said, “Ok.” Then she immediately said, “I love turtles and I’m seeing them all over this place.” I was shocked because I had no idea that she loved turtles and I was about to give her the sea glass turtle. I then said, “We need to talk now.” I put the turtle in her hand and we sat on the couch as I shared what happened in the middle of the night. Her mouth opened and she said, “You are kidding me, right?” She held the turtle in her hand and sat quietly as I read the chapter to her.
Chapter 7 “Slowliness is Godliness”
“God has been speaking to me about turtles and I’m seeing them all over the place. Slow and steady, the turtle knows when to move and when to stay still and rest. Through turtles, God teaches me about patience and Godliness. Turtles go within for answers because they know the truth is within. As the turtle knows when to go in, I’m learning to go inside and trust myself, my intuition and my gut. When I go inside, I ask myself “What am I feeling and thinking?” I sometimes need to change my stinking thinking. It’s so easy to take things personally or jump to conclusions and be negative. When I stick my head out, like the turtle, I ask myself, “What action do I need to take?” It may be that I need to speak up, set a boundary, say “no,” forgive someone or let go of a resentment.
Why is the turtle so powerful a symbol for me? Most of my life, I’ve acted just the opposite and never rested or went within for my answers. I constantly raced around, going from one thing to another. Rushing was my addiction. If I rushed and stayed busy, I didn’t have time to feel my feelings and go within. It gave me energy when I rushed. I felt powerful when I multi-tasked and felt in control. Just like the alcoholic who uses alcohol to medicate painful feelings, I used rushing to medicate painful feelings from my childhood. I always pushed myself to do more and be more. I never felt good enough and didn’t know how to relax.
A friend told me that rushing was abusive and a death wish. It’s a death wish because when I rush all the time, I disconnect from myself and from the divine energy of God within. When I rush, I’m not respecting myself or the God within. I’ve rushed all my life. I had to get things done quickly and I never took my time with anything. Rushing puts you into adrenaline overload and drenches the body in epinephrine, a hormone stimulated by stress, anger or fear.
God showed me it started when I was seven years old growing up in my alcoholic home. I never knew if promises were going to be kept because of the drinking. I didn’t know if my mom would be there when I got home from school or if she would be drunk. She would often take off for days and nobody knew where she was. It was scary being a little girl and not knowing if my mother was dead or alive when she didn’t come home. I never heard the phrase “Take your time” growing up. It was always “Hurry up.”
I knew that If I wanted peace in my life, I had to change. It only takes one person to change your life – you. I had to slow down, be conscious and learn to live in the moment. I asked God for the grace to slow down and relax. With this new awareness of my rushing and the damage it was doing to me, I started to observe the many areas in my life that I rushed. I walked fast, I drove fast, and I ate fast. I even talked fast and sometimes finished others’ sentences for them.
I recently drove my son Jimmy to the airport and gave myself plenty of time to get there. We were half way there when he looked over at me and said, “Mom, why are you driving so slowly?” “I’m practicing being in the moment and not rushing,” I said. “You don’t need to practice when I’m in the car,” he answered with a grin.”
Karen thanked me when I finished reading her the chapter. She really related to it and was able to see her own rushing addiction that she really wanted God to change. She said, “I never thought of it as being abusive to myself.”
Reading her the chapter was not only a gift to her, but a gift to me because I realized how God had answered my prayer and given me the grace to change. My book was published 6 years ago, and today I have more peace in my heart and soul than I have ever had. What is better than a peaceful heart? Peace and happiness go together. Those who live in peace, live in joy.
Since moving to Maui, I truly have slowed down and have learned to just BE and live in the present moment. If I find myself tempted to rush, I quickly remind myself that it is abusive and not who I am anymore. I am living heaven on earth and have been transformed by Spirit. It is never too late to change. Ask Spirit for what you need and want. Expect and believe your prayers are answered. You are worth it!
May the God of the present moment be with you, slowing you down, revealing to you the sacred gift hidden in each moment of your day. May you develop a reflective heart, able to be present to life, a heart that can take time to move beyond the visible to touch the precious mystery of life and living.
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