I’ve been thinking a lot about moving on and leaning in, letting go and holding on, slowing down and speeding up. Is it possible to do both at the same time? And is there something misguided about this approach of letting go, letting be, and remaining passive—often associated with a Buddhist, Daoist, or Stoic way of life? Perhaps it is not even a philosophical misguidance, but a human’s poor execution that muddies this wisdom.
I flew to Mexico and spent a week slowing down and speeding up. My chosen pace was slower than the people I was with; they pushed me to go farther at times, go harder, and go bigger. And I needed this push. On my own, I would lounge. On my own, I would go home early. On my own, I would let things slide and let it be, planning little and following my whims. But each time I travel with planners, I am amazing at what can happen, and with what little stress. The foresight to plan leaves space for relaxation when you are craving it most—on the vacation. Without these pushes, my trip would have brought me the same results it always brings me—a little bit of relaxing, a little bit of chaos, and a lot of surprises. On this trip, there were nights out, good meals, incredible company, and few surprises—and I am leaving Mexico with an altered perspective because of it.
I think what I am trying to explain is the power of patterns, both thought and behavior patterns, that recreate the wheel of our lives. I make decisions for myself based off a pattern of thinking that may or may not serve every situation, but I nonetheless apply it to each scenario. It’s like I am a beginner chef with no idea how to prepare anything but broccoli, chicken, and rice. I want more tools in my kit of self-determination. I want to wear different hats, apply different tactics, and go beyond the same-old that I have grown accustomed to. Or even better, I want to surround myself with people that change my wheel with me and for me. To show me another way to live, another way to think, or another way to believe. I am looking to believe in alternate realities, and I think people are the way to start.