A poem by Leyla Aylin
How brave you are for slowing down. For not finishing that to-do list.
How courageous you are for not crossing that finish line, because your body said “enough”.
How fearless you are for choosing the quiet of your soul over those voices driving you always towards more.
How bold, how rebellious – you, out there, honouring your own natural rhythm, going against the culture’s breakneck speed.
We tend to make heroes of those hungry with ambition, relentlessly doing, producing always more.
We applaud those who refuse to stop or rest. Who push themselves so hard in the name of achievement, that they sacrifice their body and soul and heart in the process.
We celebrate those who are ill or aging but never show it, never slow down, never reveal a moment of vulnerability.
This drivenness can be heroic, at times. It can be necessary for our survival or the greater good.
But, I want to make heroes of those who slow down.
I want to make heroes of those who listen to their bodies, who do not strive for more than what the soul truly needs.
I want to make heroes of those who do not force or push, but surrender to each moment as it opens.
I want to applaud those who may not be driven towards success as we know it, but instead are nurturing something deep and subtle and needed.
I want to celebrate those brave enough to cease all doing, even for a second, and sit with the ache in their hearts.
A task many find harder than summiting the highest peak. I want to make heroes of those who honour their limitations.
Who are unable to keep up with the busy-ness of our times, yet show up to each profound, necessary moment.
It is truly an act of courage and rebellion to do any such thing, in a world demanding you resist your own self, your own rhythm, your own soul.
And the paradox is, that often when we cease our incessant doing, even for a minute, and listen to that quiet voice within, we discover what it is we absolutely must do, and what instead can fall away.
We finally hear the call towards what serves our soul, and what then will serve the world. Nothing more, nothing less.
A hero is simply someone brave. So come, be softly brave. Be a new, quieter kind of hero. Few may applaud, it’s true, but your soul certainly will.