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Slow is Sweet

When I was living in Australia I went to a spirit reader. Oh, come on, you mean you've never gone to one? OK, I'll humor you. They are like psychics. NOT fortune tellers (I was ensured of this), but more like personal coaches that get their motivational speeches from the spirits lingering around you.

I was a little lost. I needed some guidance...or personal coaching...from the dead.

OK, it was a lark. My friend, Jessica, and I were having tea at a coffee house and the spirit reader happened to be in-house that day, with an opening. What else was I going to do while I sipped my Chai tea latte?

She sat in front of me, her eyes closed, the steam from my tea dancing in front of her sparkling eye shadow. I watched her with a subtle smirk, waiting for her eyes to open in an emotive gaping awe at the revelation she had just come to. They didn't. They yawned open nonchalantly as she smiled and took a casual sip out of her own coffee cup.

"So you're feeling a little lost, are you?" she asked.

I paused. "Do I answer? Or are these rhetorical?" I blushed, but I wasn't getting cheaped out of anything.

"Haha, you don't have to answer anything, I guess. But this can be like a conversation, if you like. It might be more beneficial. I'm only passing on information."

"I see. Yes, then, I'm a little lost."

"Canadian? I don't meet a lot of Americans."

"Yes, Canadian." I wait. She sits quietly for awhile, looking like she is off somewhere else. I take this as a good sign, or a trite act to convince me.

"Well, I can tell you this. They say, 'go to Vancouver'. They say they know you have your doubts, but this is where you should be. So just go, and don't worry about how the pieces will fall into place. They will."

I shiver. Literally, this is the only thing I have made up my mind about in life at this point. But I'm Canadian, and Vancouver is where people go. Could've been a lucky guess.

"They also say you gotta watch out for your Whipper. Haha, and they used that word, too! That's my word."

I shrug. I have no idea what's she's talking about.

"Do you kind of feel like there's always somewhere over you're shoulder 'whipping' you into shape? Telling you to work harder? Get more done? Do it better? Do it THE BEST, or not to bother?"

I blush. This time I don't answer.

"Yeah, that's the Whipper. We've all got one, but yours is a little obnoxious. Sounds like that's your lot in life - fighting your Whipper. Do yourself a favor. If you get anything from this, try to ignore that voice sometimes. It's not doing you any favors. Life isn't meant to be grueling. Enjoy the ride a little. Slow down. Savor..." and her voice droned into the distance.

I don't remember all the details. I wish I had a recording, but the rest likely just didn't matter. This stuck. And it stuck for a reason. She was bang on. That Whipper has been beating me up since forever. Permission to slow down? To savor? Could she be right?

I got my money's worth. It is good for me. It is good for the world I am in that I am not buzzing around like a frenetic bee, making other people nervous and focusing on things that don't matter.
that day. I have no idea when I will die, or how many children I will have, or what my career will look like in twenty years. Maybe those details are the parts of the reading I forgot, but it doesn't matter. She gave me the most important piece of advice I've probably ever received. I need to slow down. And I need to remind myself of this on a daily basis.

Because what matters is the sweet stuff you can only appreciate when you are moving slow enough to pay attention. Love. Laughter. Food. Fine wine. Sunshine. Sweet music. Connecting with people.

A challenge for this day? To be in a moment without any need to move ahead of it, or get behind it, or take it anywhere but here. A true moment of presence, of savoring.

I challenge you all to the task. Can you do it?

Faith in Possibility...and Saving Sea Scallops

Doing the Work