Permission to break your programming

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I grew up in a competitive family. We all ran.

Early on I understood the options: Run faster. Run farther. Slowing down was weak and walking was failure.

It wasn’t until my early forties that I let this programming go. I was out for a run and feeling miserable. Hurting. The voice in my head was relentless. “Keep running. You’re not allowed to stop.”

Another voice appeared with a kind and gentle message. One that had been growing stronger over the years. “Rich, you can walk.”

I did.

Giving myself permission to back off…to rest, did not make me a loser. I was still the same person. The only difference was I claimed the power to make healthier choices for myself. Mentally, physically, and spiritually, this was a turning point.

It was okay to slow down (at least on my runs).

I started writing blogs 13 years ago.

At first six per year. Over time it doubled to once a month. Old programming seeped in telling me to write faster, push farther…which lead to twenty-four blogs per year.

When Sarah and I started co-authoring, we decided to publish every week. Our track record has kept on growing…74…75…76 straight weeks.

Lately, we’ve been on the go both physically and emotionally. We are feeling the effects.

I’ve noticed the relentless voice resurfacing; beating like a drum.

We need rest. “Faster. Farther.”

We’re overwhelmed. “Faster. Farther”

We can’t keep this up. “Faster. Farther.”

Instead of listening to the voice, last week I finally listened to my heart.

Breaking our streak was the only way to break the spell.

I looked at Sarah and said, “No blog this week.” We shared a collective sigh of relief.

We let the lesson from my past echo in our present: It’s okay to slow down.

How about you? Maybe there are more options than faster and farther.

Where might you need to give yourself a breather?

Listen closely…can you hear the kind and gentle voice?

You’ll be better off when you do.