Haste

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‘Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry.’  —John Wesley

Is this even possible? To make haste IS to hurry, yes? ‘In a hurry’ usually means stressed, impatient, behind, anxious. Could being ‘in haste’ mean facility for the task at hand? Quickness due to adroitness, dexterity?

I’m convinced we all suffer from ‘time-sickness’ in the U.S., and it could well be a quality-of-life issue in other countries too. The chronic push to get to the next thing is over-powering, and a hard habit to change. 

In addressing this chronic unhealthy co-existence with time, it’s best to start with slow. We do equate haste with hurry, and before we can make quick work of a task without rushing our way through, slowing down is required. Paradoxically, when I try to hurry, tasks often take longer to perform. 

Mondays are often set aside for domestic chores,* and last week sweeping and dusting was on the schedule. I decided to try an experiment, in good Alexander Technique fashion. Making my rounds through the rooms, feather duster and polishing cloth in hand, I would simply dust. Choosing to not ‘watch the clock,’ or agitate myself with thoughts of how long each room was taking to clean, I would, instead, tend to the physicality of the cleaning, observe my Use (an AT term referring to how we are residing in our body and negotiating movement) and be right there and nowhere else. Music helps. 

Lo, and behold, while purposely not trying to get it done and over with, the house cleaning was completed in record time. And thoroughly. No dust-bunnies in sight!

*An aside on keeping house: During the years of frequent performances and time on-stage, coming home to clean out the toilet never failed to keep my feet on the ground. After the applause, it was humbling to scrub out the bathtub. I can recommend it for your consideration as a character-building exercise! Here in the Midwest, humility is a highly valued attribute, so I’d best keep practicing—

(While musing on haste vs. hurry, fellow wordpress blogger, Cheryl Capaldo Traylor, posted ‘Slow Down. What’s Your Hurry?’ and I was reminded, not for the first time, of the interconnectedness I have to those I’ve never met. Thanks, Cheryl. She’s given permission for her post to be published on Poise and Presence. Soon to follow—-) 

One thought on “Haste

  1. Cheryl Capaldo Traylor April 11, 2019 / 12:50 am

    I think we are so addicted to speed and getting things done. Everyone looks to be on a mission these days, especially in the city. I appreciate the gentle lesson about cleaning the tub after the applause. It reminds me of the Buddhist instruction: First the ecstasy, then the laundry. And thank you for including me in your post and thoughts. I’m grateful for this space we share here. 🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

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