Photo by Rosanne Jordan
Thought for the Week
I hate the fact that adverse experiences teach me more than easy-peasy-everything-pleasey ones do, but like it or not, it’s true. Yet I often fail to learn the lessons they offer, and am always surprised when I do learn something. Perhaps this is because I’m stubborn and boneheaded. Wait—lose the “perhaps.”
Recently, two things have taught me the power of slowing down:
First, after three months of trying to avoid using my injured left thumb, it finally occurred to my boney little brain that the only way I’m going to effectively avoid aggravating the injury is to pause, remind myself not to use it, and orchestrate an alternative. Result? There are signs my thumb may finally be healing.* Also, the slow-down approach has started spilling over into my other perpetually clumsy behaviors, causing me to bump into things less, spill my coffee less, and make my wife roll her eyes less.
Second, I caught a fluff story on my newsfeed about Rebel Wilson’s spectacular weight loss—one of the keys to which is simply chewing each bite of her food a minimum of forty times. Why is this relevant? Because I have a persistent problem with acid stomach, much of which is caused by eating like a snake (swallowing my food whole). So, along with all this thoughtful thumblessness, I’ve started super-chewing. Result? I’m savoring my food again, eating less and enjoying it more, appreciating the subtleties of well-prepared dishes and textures of whole foods. And, while I’m chewing, I’m savoring the moment, my surroundings, and most importantly my dining companion.
In fact, slowing down is affecting my overall behavior, causing me to take better note of what’s happening around me, and be more aware of what I’m doing. But most importantly, it’s making me a little more sensitive to what’s going on with other people. In fact, I think the biggest lesson of all in this slowing down business is that there’s potential healing and savoring in it for others, as well, subtle providential empathy.
And that’s the best lesson of all.
*If this doesn’t do it, I promise to see a specialist (he said stubbornly and boneheadedly).