Keeping Up By Slowing Down
Submitted by Sarah Yanosy, Director, Sanctuary Institute
There is little I love more than connecting with people who share passion for our work. I have been on a whirlwind tour that included Oregon, Las Vegas and Philadelphia in the last 30 days – all extremely fulfilling and wonderful work experiences. As much as I enjoy the travel that Directing the Sanctuary Institute involves, I sometimes find that my overzealous calendaring can get the best of me. Lucky for me I have two little reminders about slowing down. Their names are Jonah and Sidra.
When I am racing through airports and squeezing in calls while waiting on rental car lines, my gauge can get stuck on high speed. I sometimes think that it is ok that “frenetic” might be the permanent setting of my dial, as long as it is in service of great things. Then my son comments: “Mommy, come watch us play chess. I want you to see what I learned.” I am reminded that the simple art of sitting and watching, observing and taking in can result in great accomplishments too. They might not be my accomplishments, and they may be even better.
Sometimes the pace of my days warps me into thinking that I come in only one flavor: “spazzberry nutjob”. (Yes, I made that up, and no, I don’t imaging that it would taste very good.) When I am bouncing from program to proposal to presentation to project, I begin to feel like a whirling mash of color and texture trying to stir in all that is new and different and exciting. At home, I often carry this over, juggling a million things at one time. Then my daughter asks: “Mommy, play tic-tac-toe with me!” I am invited into her chocolate marshmallow world, where two people, like those two flavors, can blend together or just swirl around each other. I can pay attention to one thing at a time: making my X, then watching her make an O. I can ask her about her day, or I can just sit and be in her space. Both are really ok with her. I remember that she and I can control the pace of the game, we can stop in the middle if we feel like it and pick up again later, and that the best games end in a tie. Good points to remember most days.