In the name of....

(I)t can be difficult on a weeklong vacation to unwind our anxious psyches. Short trips require quickly shaking off travel fatigue so we can hustle through a sightseeing agenda, trying (and usually failing) to wean ourselves off addictive phone and email checking, maximizing every day of good weather, hoping each flight departs on time and that no one gets sick. In all that hurry, there’s little unstructured space to wander and investigate.
— Jynne Dilling

We are increasingly accustomed to life at breakneck speed. I was at a coffee shop recently and the barista, a young man in his 20s, mentioned how some customers were annoyed by the speed of the free WiFi the store provided. He remembered a time when dial-up was the only way for the internet to be reached, and how phone lines would be tied up if someone was online. Then he chuckled at how impatient some customers were, and – very quickly – began to fulfil outstanding orders that were being handed to him to prepare.

His comments stayed with me because this is an issue that I have been reflecting on recently. Everywhere we go, we are exhorted to be speedy, efficient, fast – move slowly, and you’re left behind and out of the loop. This pressure to constantly be on the go has resulted in high levels of stress and a myriad of other related conditions ranging from FOLO (fear of losing out) to anxiety and depression.

When I see clients for counselling, they sometimes ask me when they will be able to stop seeing me. I always reply that I genuinely believe that clients stop whenever they feel ready and able to do so. While this might seem like evasive therapy-speak, the fact is that one of the greatest benefits of therapy is that it affords clients the time to truly reflect on their lives. Whatever their reason might be for seeking help, the healing opportunity to take up space, and allow themselves to slow down and be guided on focusing on that which is often pushed away, hidden, denied, suppressed or managed away cannot be overlooked. Without stopping and reflecting, we are all just caught up in an endless loop of rushing through life, forever on our way to some one, something, somewhere…

Almost daily, new scientific studies report startling and sometimes scary statistics and facts about how the ever-connected world we now live in is taking a toll on human beings: people who cannot disconnect from technology, perpetually at war with time, unable to savour achievements, forever in want. Are you caught up in this neverending story? Imagine what it would be like to stop.