Slowing down – walking the dog

Walking the dog

Today a story about self-awareness, the value of slowing down, and walking the dog.


At the moment I have multiple projects on the go. I am self-aware enough to know that once I get momentum within me, I can move at a hellacious speed and sometimes too fast for others.

You know the phrase “when you know, you know!”. Yup, that is me sometimes, so when I press the “go” button, I often move FAST!

Now, I have a soul sister overseas who taught me the idea of leaving voice notes for each other. I love it. Great way to stay connected. We simply leave voice notes updating each other on what is happening. A modern way of being “pen pals” over a distance.

The other day, at the end of one such voice note, I said:

“The world doesn’t seem to want to move at my speed”

This brought an awareness in me of “hmm.. it would be valuable for me to pause, to slow down for a moment”.

Slowing down, to walk the dog

So, as it happens, the next day I had already planned in a pause for that day. I deliberately skipped the express and took the slow train out to the countryside, then at 10am a friend and collaborator met me at the station and we went to walk his dog.

We had originally planned this to be a project meeting, but, lo and behold, we had moved faster than we had thought, so on this day we simply walked the dog.

For two and a half hours on a perfect early autumn day, we walked, we talked. It was simply a beautiful moment, and rich in life. How many of us will take a Tuesday morning simply to walk the dog, with no aim other than to spend time in nature and with someone else? For me, for many years my answer to such a question would have been “not me, I’m too busy!”

So, after walking the dog, I took the slow train back and was behind my desk again by about 3:30pm, then spent some time working, and with the awareness of the power of that pause, of having slowed down.

Perhaps it was the fresh air, but in any event, I fell asleep before 10pm, so when I woke up the next morning, what awaited me was a stream of emails from people on different time zones. You know what? the world had suddenly caught up with my speed. People were replying to me on various projects and things were suddenly happening and at speed!

I not only smiled, at one point early that morning I laughed out loud at this!

The moral of this story?

Well, sometimes there is no morale, sometimes a story is just a story.

However, at one level this is a reminder to not go too fast for those you are looking to lead, or “Don’t be more than one hilltop ahead

At another level, though, perhaps a story without a strong message is simply space for you to pause and read it, and perhaps the idea of the pause is enough.