Posts Tagged "my journey"

My journey to Slow

Posted on Dec 1, 2013 | 3 comments

My journey to Slow

Here I am,  dedicating myself on a project aimed at spreading the Slow movement. Funny thing is I’m not yet ‘slow’ myself. Last year as I zoomed into a co-working space for a meeting with our Fremantle Wind Farm volunteer group a friend said to me, ‘Claire you’re always rushing from one thing to another, you should just put a wind turbine on your head and generate electricity from that.’ It has struck many people as strange that someone like me, someone who loves intensity, tries to squeeze every inch out of their day (resulting in chronic sleep deprivation), would offer themselves to spruik the Slow movement. But it makes sense, I promise. I have always been the kind of person who does everything. In my naive (er) younger years, I really thought I could. In my last year of my undergraduate I was doing a double degree, finishing my honours, got my second dan black belt in karate, working and still managed to go on a road trip for a festival a week before my honours was due in. And I felt on top of the world. It wasn’t until I was in my first professional job that my ‘can-do’ attitude combined with my idealism turned around and bit me. Hard. I was in a caring profession in a high needs environment. Turns out that is a recipe for burnout.  I remember the moment that someone came into my office and told me something that should have triggered off my stress response. In that moment I realised that I felt nothing. I continued to half-listen to the story while the other half of my brain was putting the pieces of the puzzle together; my morning exercise making me feel worse rather than better like it used to, coffee triggering a revolt from my body, brain fog, insomnia, exhaustion smothering my weekends. My adrenal glands were shot. Time for a change. So what do I do? Ride my bicycle alone from Mexico down to Argentina in an attempt to save the world with my project, Cycling for Cohesion. Long story, you can read more about it in an upcoming blog. It was a life changing in a good way but not always, or even often, fun. I am not so interested in extended traveling unless there is some kind of purpose greater than myself so as things started to unfold with the project not quite as planned I found it quite a drag. This became a negative cycle as I then found it harder to focus on the project work. I eventually sat down in a park in Colombia and wrote to myself “you can’t do good if you don’t feel good.” By taking care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually, I am able to be a much more powerful force for good. Not to mention being happier and healthier! One of the best things to come out of this trip was that it focussed my thinking in how I could really make a difference in the world. Sustainability was my thing but I was never keen to be a technical expert so science or engineering were out, as was being a health profession working with people one to one. I had always felt my contribution would through working with people. Cycling for Cohesion helped me understand the importance of having an engaged and active citizenry; having people participate at some level in decision making is crucial when tackling complex problems. I moved my skill development focus to stakeholder engagement, strategic planning and facilitation and was immensely happy that...

Read More