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Towards WE & BEYOND – Impressions from a shared journey Part VIII

Slow down in order to speed up …

What seems like a paradox actually is quite an effective approach to embrace complexity. Living in the busy and noisy times of today, though, it requires a lot of courage and trust to do so.

Why do we spend a post on this thought???

Well, you might remember that we started to write this blog once we realised that our book project involves quite some complexity. We felt that the conventional way to write a book would not work in this case. We felt the need to be innovative, to step our of our comfort zone, to try something new…

It is in such situations that the everyday routines, which normally enable us to be very efficient, do not help; even worse, they often result in blind activism, wasting time and energy rather than helping us to progress! In such situations something counterintuitive proves much better: slowing down.

Slowing down offers the necessary TIME and SPACE to,

  • Gain distance / the helicopter perspective necessary to be able to look at the situation differently;

  • Listen to our intuition, using all our senses to grasp and understand the specific nature of the situation / task / challenge ahead;

  • Build the trust, confidence and feeling of self-assuredness to find an appropriate pathway to reach the desired goal;

  • Envisage and identify a set of alternative pathways;

  • Make conscious and deliberate choices about which route to follow;

  • And it enables us to use all the resources available to us effectively when building the bridge while walking on it …

We want to invite you to try yourself what can happy if you dare to give yourself the space to slow down with a small experiment – you can do it with your children at the breakfast table or your colleagues in the coffee corner: the RAISIN EXERCISE.

Here is how it works:

1. Provide every participant in the experiment with 3 raisins (or three dry cranberries).

2. Invite everybody to take the first raisin and eat it – most likely they will have been swallowed in a few seconds!

3. Invite everybody to take the second raisin, yet now ask them to make themselves familiar with it:

  • Feel its skin with the fingertips: is it soft or rough?

  • Look at it: which colour does it have? and through it: is it transparent or opaque?

  • Smell it.

  • Put it into your mouth and feel the surface of the skin with your tongue; does that feel different than with your fingertips?

  • How does it taste: attention, do not bite on it yet!

  • Let if grow with your saliva.

  • Taste it again: describe the taste, the changed surface feeling etc.

  • Now bite on it: what changes? where on your tongue?

  • What happens if you turn the inside out?

  • When you fully experienced this raisin, swallow it.

4. Give a few seconds to let the experience resonate; maybe invite the participants to close their eyes and concentrate on what happened.

5. Invite the participants to take the third raisin and consciously decide on how to eat it.

6. What did your learn? What does that mean for the way you live, the way you perceive the world, the way you understand REALITY?

Here is our eighth insight: Slowing down allows us to use all our senses, to bring together and combine information, impressions and intuition to a depth and quality where we able to understand and embrace complexity, rather than break it down; slowing down allows us to experience wholeness and abundance that deeply satisfies – though we may not always (yet) have the language to express and share our experiences. If we embrace this risk chances are that we are able to come up with truly unique propositions, the kind that truly make a difference (including to speed and efficiencies…).

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