I’ve had occasion to remember The Speed Paradox again recently which basically says that going too fast can get you stuck and result in no movement at all. I was on a real healing roll, digging down deep and releasing limiting beliefs like they were leaves coming off autumn trees in a gale, then the brakes went on fast!
The indigenous nomadic tribes knew this one well, having to travel with sick, elderly or very young members; they could only move ahead as fast as the slowest member of the tribe was willing and able to travel. If they went too fast they would inevitably have to stop to wait for them to catch up or risk losing them.
Within each of us there is a tribe. We have many different aspects and whenever one of those wishes to race ahead too fast, the inevitable crunch happens bringing us to a grinding halt. I know this comes when I feel under pressure, making me feel stressed, trying to speed up so as to release the uncomfortable pressure. Then it shows up as exhaustion, my energy just plummets and I feel drained and tired yet also unable to get deeply refreshing sleep. For a client I worked with this week it was the freeze response (companion to the fight and flight response), feeling unable to move forward yet also under tremendous pressure to do so. It can be a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ feeling, a sudden loss of vitality, a drop in enthusiasm or motivation, a return to old patterns of behaviour or addictions, or a feeling of overwhelm or a sudden illness. All these are signs of one part of you trying to go forwards faster than the slowest feels safe.
I like to use analogies and the one that came to me for this paradox effect is that of a car seat belt. As you pull gently on it, it moves easily, but as soon as you pull too fast, it locks up and won’t budge. So the power of your weakest or slowest part can also lock you up and prevent any further movement until it feels sufficiently safe again to release the lock and move. Very often people conceptualise this as a child part – known as our inner child. Many things happen to us as children which create mini traumas (rather than the big T traumas of war or rape). So perhaps you felt thrust out into a scary world without sufficient support on your first day at school, or there was a time when you were asked or required to try something that was ‘age inappropriate’ therefore setting you up for feelings of failure and inadequacy.
The reason for taking time to stop, pay attention and listen to this slowest part is because these inner child parts often hold some of our most valuable creative abilities, which we lose when we try to forge forwards too fast leaving them behind. Yes they’re scared but once we’ve done the work of helping them to feel safe, by listening compassionately, understanding their difficulty and hopefully connecting them with an appropriate safe parent or adult part, we can move forward in a more integrated and whole-hearted way, allowing their gifts and magic to shine through in our lives.
I love the playful energy that comes through in creative visualisation, a key component of my Liberation Coaching sessions. This works on such a deep level that your conscious mind has very little resistance to it and allows you to rediscover your true self. When you know yourself you lose feelings of inadequacy because you accept, love and trust yourself just as you are.