In the Northern Hemisphere, there is less daylight and cooler weather. Mother Nature is inviting us to pause and to reflect. And I am wondering how many of us are struggling to slow down?

As I have shared before in this forum, modern-day culture discourages a slower pace. In fact, there are incentives for moving quickly and doing more. Work places often evaluate employees based on productivity more than integrity and kindness, and personal relationships may feel judged by how much one gives rather than on how well one listens.

I suspect one reason why we reward productivity is because we fear stillness.

I believe this fear of stillness stems from our fear of death. Unlike older cultures which synced with natural cycles, our modern culture is so far removed from nature that we often dissociate from or ignore death.

And not just death as defined by the loss of life.

We also fear the death of our ego and our self-worth. Products and services are sold to us based on the fears of “losing ground” or “being left behind.”

In communities where death is viewed as a natural part of living, people have a different relationship with loss. In these communities, loss is not a punishment. In these communities loss of any kind (life, identity, relationship, or resource) is an opportunity to learn and to grow.

As I study chapter five in Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book Women Who Run With the Wolves, I am learning how one’s perspective on death impacts how one interacts in relationships. If death is viewed as necessary for new life, then hardships experienced in relationships are ways to grow closer to others.

Great, you say, but how do you do it?

How do you use the hardship as a way to grow?

The tool, I believe, is the pause: the pause between stimulus and response.

When we fear stillness, then we forget to pause. This is why slowing down is so radical: it moves us from a place of fear to a place of growth.

Slowing down and making space gives us room to evaluate the stimulus (often perceived as a stressor), assess our options, and then make a decision that is valued-aligned. When we don’t slow down, then we react instead of respond, and quite often, cause ourselves more pain.

The invitation for this season is to embrace stillness, to practice the pause, to accept the loss.

You may, of course, have many feelings about this invitation and the implementation of it. Wonderful! That is part of the process and necessary for creating new life.

If you notice you are making a judgment about the process or wanting to blame a person, including yourself, then ask the question: “What am I afraid to look at or let go of?” Your answer may help you understand your loss and the fear you have about the loss.

Ultimately I hope you and me slow down because we want to and will feel better. Let’s support each other in lengthening the pause and normalizing stillness.

If you want to understand this topic more, please consider attending the next Exploring Our Wild Roots gathering happening on November 12.

Looking forward to connecting with you soon.


Kim Bushore-Maki

Shadow Work: Uncovering our Unconscious Needs

Shadow Work: Uncovering our Unconscious Needs

A 6 week series
To support emerging leaders, the Shadow Work series is being offered this fall to build resilience and freedom. The goal of this series is to unearth your unconscious needs so you may eliminate limiting beliefs and healthily address your needs.

Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.

Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.

Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.

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