By: Kathy Albarado on December 26th, 2009

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Sometimes Slowing Down is Necessary

Recently a colleague and advisor shared a story about the Chinese Bamboo.  For me it was so relevant, not because I am a horticulturist, but because it tells the story of  "paced growth and slowing down."  There is a book I've enjoyed reading by David Kundtz called "Stopping, How do be Still When you Have to Keep Going."  

Are you in business and focused on the bottom line? Struggling to grow? Anxious to gain a competitive advantage? Then maybe you cringe at the thought of Stopping." "Why would I Stop? The idea is to Go!" But according to Kundtz,  the Going is getting us into deep trouble. That is, if we are Going without first Stopping.

Kundtz states that for whatever length of time we do it, we need to spend fallow time, still time, quiet time, time with no agenda at all. I believe we're talking about the difference between merely surviving and really thriving. We must learn again to become peacefully still.

The definition upon which the practice of Stopping is based:

Stopping is doing nothing, as much as possible, for a definite period of time -- whether a moment or a month -- for the purpose of waking up and remembering who you are.  That with defined periods of 'stopping', our relationships are deeper and our actions more intentional and focused. 

His point folds nicely with my colleague's Bamboo story.  Chinese Bamboo must be carefully nurtured for 5 years before its stalk grows at all. Can you imagine many of us having the patience to invest 5 years of our time before we see any return at all?  Ahhh...but when it does sprout, in a six-week period the Chinese bamboo tree grows to ninety feet tall!   It seems incredible that a plant that lies dormant for years can suddenly explode with growth, but it happens without fail with bamboo trees.

Joe Mechlinski at EntreQuest wrote a nice blog post about this principle.  I encourage you to check it out!


~ Kathy Albarado