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The Blog

How to Slow the F*ck Down.

Robyn D'Angelo

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Themes.

It’s what therapists look for, listen for + feel for when supporting + guiding their clients.

A theme is defined as:

noun: the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.

It’s central to any good book, movie, and story.

And since our lives are simply a collection of stories (tragedies, action, super hero, love + more) it’s no surprise when I start to hear similar themes in the stories of my clients.

And while it should be absolutely no surprise when those very same themes pop up in my own life … it still takes me by surprise now + again.

The Theme We {you + I} Share

There’s this thing I say a lot. I say it in session with my clients. I’ve said it on the phone + via text to clients. And I’ve said it to friends near + far.

And more recently, I’ve been listening to my friends + mentors say it to me.

It’s something we all need to hear now + then.

And it’s something we all must do now + then.

And when we don’t … everything seems to come crashing down, or to a screeching halt.

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

If you’re anything like me, you find it challenging to slow down. (I even contributed an entire article titled: A busy person’s guide to resting). I know, right? 

You find it maddening when “zenned out people” in your life remind you to slow down.

And it’s the most annoying when you find yourself telling those even busier than you, to consider slowing down.

But have you noticed what happens when you actually do this? 

When you actually pause long enough, to look around you and SEE, FEEL, + LISTEN to what your world is telling you?

I’m curious, though … what would it take for you to slow down? And I don’t me barely tapping the breaks, I mean a legit slowing the fuck down.

Pulling over, putting it in park, + stopping now and then.

What will it take?

Will it take sustaining some sort of physical injury?

Will it take your spouse serving you with divorce papers?

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Will it take your kids choosing time with the sitter over you?

Will it take family members no longer inviting you to holiday get together?

Will it take dear friends ignoring your rare attempts to connect over coffee?

This is my plea to you …

Don’t wait until there’s some sort of rupture, to slow down.

Don’t wait until something is broken, bleeding, or completely lifeless to attempt resuscitation.

Check Yourself.

Remember my mention of themes a little earlier? Yeah well, I will venture to guess you’ve got a few popping up in your life right about now, right?

Look at these areas of your life, + check yourself. Do you notice any themes running through them:

  •       Relationships: Romantic, Friends, Family, Professional
  •       Health: Intellectual, Mental, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional
  •       Interests: Creative, Physical, Intellectual, Personal
  •       Contributions: Community, Professional, Financial

These are just a few areas for you to slow down and assess – what’s going on.

More importantly what’s NOT going on? What’s missing?

Are people in multiple areas of your life making similar comments?

Are you hearing things (themes) like:

“We miss you – where have you been?”
“What’s new in your life – I feel like I have no idea what you’ve been up to.”
“When do we get to see you again? It’s been forever!”
“I’m worried about you.”
“You’re not looking so good these days, is everything ok?”

I can almost guarantee that if your body is not screaming at you in some way (stomach issues, sleep issues, skin issues, foggy brain, high irritability, acid reflux, body pains, etc) those around you who love + care about you are.

Or are about to. OR perhaps they’ve stopped because you’ve been so unresponsive.

How to Slow the Fuck Down.

I’m going to share a little secret with you on how to slow down.

It may seem impossible. You may want more detailed instructions. And this may seem too simple.

But here it is.

JUST DO IT. (Thanks for that one Nike)

Just choose an area of your life, and slow the fuck down. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Take an afternoon off from work, get a sitter + take your spouse out for lunch.
  • Pull up the calendar at the yoga studio you’ve been paying $100/month to attend but haven’t gone since January’s New Year’s Resolution + go to a candlelight yoga class this weekend.
  • Turn off the tv, get off social media, + pick up the phone to call your sister whose two kids just moved all their stuff out of the house to go off to college + now she's an empty nester.
  • Crawl in bed with your littles, Sunday morning, to snuggling, giggling, + daydreaming about the day instead of rushing everyone to get out the door to church. (just this once)
  • Invite a friend to the sunrise beach clean-up this weekend, then go get pancakes + coffee to talk about what you both just experienced.
  • Take the entire day off, while everyone else goes to work + school so that you can sleep in, sip coffee in peace, take a long hot bath, zone out on reality tv, + maybe take a solo stroll.
  • Make a list of all the little ways you would love to slow down, so you have something tangible to look at + start planning.

The thing about SLOWING THE FUCK DOWN, is that you get to decide what it looks like.

You get to choose if this is a 2-hour thing, a half day experience, or a weekend away from it all.

Yes, it requires conversations with people in your life who depend on you, and consideration for the responsibilities + demands on your time … but welcome to adulting. That’s never going to stop.

The purpose of slowing down physically in your life, is so that your mental, emotional, + spiritual parts can slow down a bit too.

I don’t know about you, but when I am go, go, go for too long, my brain feels like it’s humming, I feel scattered, and my nervous system feels revved up. It’s not a great feeling long term. And it’s not healthy long term, either.

What would happen if you just slowed down?

Last month I attended a "work retreat." I was PUMPED!

I would use these 3 full days, with 19 other kick-ass therapists, access to my fabulous business coach/mentors + I'd get so much shit done!

And then two weeks before the retreat, when I shared all the things I wanted to focus on with my business coach, she lovingly asked me ...

"What would happen if you just used this time to slow down? You already do so much. All the time. What if you just relaxed this week?"

Ummmm... WHAT?!?!

I was going to be there with 19 other brilliant minds, compassionate people, + professionals who love helping others as much as I do, how could I not use that time to jam things out that would help my business grow?

I thought about this for a while. I still made lists of what I wanted to accomplish while on this working retreat.

As it got closer to the retreat, something shifted for me. I was reading comments in the FB group of everyone who was attending. They were listing out what they wanted to focus on while attending the retreat. 

And all I could think about were my business coach's words, "What would happen if you just used this time to slow down?"  

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LONG story short. I did just that.

I. SLOWED. DOWN.

I did yoga at 6am on the rooftop of this incredible beachfront condo.

I ate food that nourished my body.

I talked to other compassionate + loving therapists about their businesses.

I read a book. 

I went running,

I sat. Still.

For the first time in a LONG TIME, I just sat outside to listen to ocean, the sea gulls, + the chatter.

I slowed the fuck down. More on that another time. 

For now, I want you to think about what would happen if you started slowing down today? 

Just a little.

How can you slow down this weekend?

What’s one thing you will commit to doing (or not doing) over the next 3 days?

If you’re STILL not sure where to start, or how to make slowing down an actual part of your life, let’s talk.

Click the button below that says “Help me slow down” and let’s talk about what you can do TODAY, to slow the fuck down.