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The Rhythm of Your Brakes

Are you slamming on your brakes? What I mean is, when you’re in motion doing anything you feel called to do, how are you stopping? What effort are you putting into developing the capacity to stop, leave, put the brakes on it? We’re so excited by the moments that give us energy to go, to do, to create, to build. Yet we can get a bit bothered when moments give us heavy, slow, lethargic, tired, stopping energy. Are you controlling your brakes or are they jolting you to a halt out of necessity?

When we dictate our own parameters for operating in a day (rather than receiving direction from someone or somewhere else), our ability to be personally accountable requires not only knowing how to rev our engines into high gear, but also how to decelerate gracefully. It’s a practice, and a practice is something we do consistently where we dedicate time, energy and focus on a single task, where we value regularity over intensity. These are what I call small moments of devotion. Small moments of devotion are what lay the tracks for what we desire to accomplish and become. A moment to devote to kindness, a moment to devote to expression, a moment to devote to patience, a moment to devote to stopping. These are moments in time that over time, when visited regularly, create the change we want. Just as we’ve learned to honor the excitement of the start of something fresh and new, we can learn to honor the excitement of putting something down, ending a moment of time, even if we feel compelled to keep going. Especially, in fact, when that urge to keep going wants to take over. That’s where the muscle grows. Time under tension is something I hear often at my workouts. This is how we change our muscles and strengthen them. The muscle of stopping needs particular circumstances to experience tension and therefore grow, and this doesn’t happen when we reach the point of burnout. It happens when we still have gas in the tank and choose to stop anyway. The tension happens when our urges tell us to go faster and to get more done and we choose to stop in the face of that. That’s the flex. This is what allows us to endure and stay in the game longer, whatever game that is for us that we truly desire to keep in our lives for the long run.

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