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You Can't Hurry a Sherpa

When my Sherpa (Nepali trekking guide, and my now husband) first arrived in Australia he was very perplexed at the seemingly unnecessarily fast pace of everything. He could see that everyday I was, quickly waking up at the sound of my alarm, rushing to the gym, walking the dog, rushing to the bus, rushing through work to try and make it to Friday where I would proceed to cram in as much ”fun” as possible into the weekend. The dread of Monday would hit about 3.00pm on a Sunday and I would start it all over again.


The moment of clarity happened one Saturday morning. I had already walked the dog, washed a load of clothes, tidied the house and been to yoga. It was 9.30 am and I was yelling at him to get ready as we were going to meet some friends for brunch. He was getting increasingly annoyed with me until he finally said ”why are you always in a hurry?” once I got over my exasperation and crankiness at the stupidity of the question, I realized that I did not have an answer….well not one that would make sense to anyone who was not determined to fill their life with “experiences” and rushing from one thing to the next to the point of mental exhaustion for them AND those around them.


One of the techniques I was shown by my psychologist when I was suffering from acute anxiety was to notice 5 sounds, then notice 5 smells, notice 5 things you can see and notice 5 things you can feel…wind, sun the clothes on your skin. The science behind this is to focus you mind on tangible things to slow your racing mind down and to center you. The beauty of this technique is that it encourages you to be present.


"If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

- Lao Tzu


This is a quote that changed my perspective and fully encompasses a value that I am everyday working towards. It reminds me to stop and take the time to notice and appreciate all that this world has to show us.


You can’t hurry as Sherpa, they will just dig their heels in and demand to know why it is necessary to rush. Why would you want to hurry them anyway, allow him to wake up slowly, enjoy his coffee in the sun, pat the dog and get ready for his day at his own pace. When you give him time to be fully present the act may very well rub off on you and you may find yourself, slowing down making conscious decisions about the commitments you take on and taking the time to be present and notice the beauty of all around you.


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