Learning to Practice “Slow”

presence, mindfulness, practice slow, miracles, empower yourself, karyn shanks md

Dear One,

Oh my God, I’m so impatient! Can you relate?

I’m not gunna lie, I want it now. I want to see the results. Now. I want to feel the transformation. Now.

I want to get there fast. And I want the world to keep up with my brain and my intentions.

About ten years ago I received two speeding tickets in rapid succession within a mile from my home. Within a mile!

One was on my way to work. My route passes through a land preserve of Iowa prairie and forest. There’s a vintage red barn and cows—cows! And when I got my ticket, the road was lined with the radiant plants of summer—sunflowers, asters, coneflowers, and grasses.

But I flew by them, day after day, in my haste to get to work—to the future events I couldn’t wait another second for.

Until I was stopped in my tracks by the nice officer who didn’t care about my agenda. Who pointed out my excessive speed and wrote me an expensive ticket.

I was pissed. And I went along my way, inconvenienced, but back on my track.

Until it happened again just a few days later after dropping my kids off at school. I didn’t realize I was going thirty-five in a twenty mph school zone.

Humble pie. A nice big slice.

Thank you, officers. This time I decided to take your advice to slow down to heart.

The Universe knocked twice. I decided to listen.

I started driving the speed limit as part of my Zen makeover.

It felt interminably slow at first. But as I got used to it and looked around me on my country road, I was blown away by those flowers of summer, so radiant, faces rising toward the sun, swaying gently in the breeze, throwing off light, knocking my freaking socks off.


I slowed down and saw what I hadn’t seen before—really saw. I let in the beauty of the world all around me. I felt that beauty permeate me. Tether me to the present moment. Transform me.

I learned two big things.

When I’m impatient I’m only focused on the future. I miss what’s right in front of me—I miss my life.

And when I go too fast I don’t leave space for the beauty—the miracles—all around me.

I’m still impatient. I still want it NOW.

But I practice “slow.”

And while I’m still a work in progress, I’m more present to it all, my life is richer, and the world rewards me constantly with Wow.

Have a Beautiful day!




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  1. Margaret

    Hi I have just had an operation cancer scare I got the news I wanted but o my body so ached I’m inpatient I want to be myself my head is thick every morning but I am grateful I no it’s going to take time but it’s so hard


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