I recently finished the book, Chasing Slow, by Erin Loechner. Thoughts of taming lions and running a race were rampant throughout her story. I enjoyed the read and I think you might too.
The book is somewhere in between a memior, how-to guide and a lecture series. It’s not easy to describe what it is, but I could share what I liked about it and some of my takeaways. I offer that to you below.
What I liked most about the book
I loved Erin’s use of details and willingness to be vulnerable in her writing. She captured moments with such detail, you could imagine yourself right there with her. She shared her thoughts and feelings so openly. Reading the book made me feel like I was sitting across from a friend telling me her story.
My takeaways from the book
- We need to be aware of the lion inside each of us.
“There is a lion inside us all. It reigns over pace and time and intention, and it lingers in the rooms of our hearts daily. It roams, searching for the reasons we were placed on this planet— our passions, dreams, abilities— and it scoffs at the demands of our daily lives— our schedules, responsibilities.”
The lion inside is not going away. It is a part of us. I can try to run away from it. I can try to tame it. But ultimately, this lion is not for us to control or escape. What we need to do is understand it, become aware of it.
“I must be all of my multifaceted self. You must be all of your multifaceted self. We must allow every part of us; we must learn in great form, in human messiness. And we must accept it all. The good and the bad, the philanthropist and the philanderer, the street preacher and the drunk, the mother and the child, both dancing in the kitchen and singing on the sidelines.”
There are things about myself that I wish were better. Some might call them weaknesses per se. And they are part of who I am. There is a necessity for each part. I can’t wish away the parts of me I don’t like. They are part of the sum of me. What I can do is learn from them, accept them, be aware of me. Through awareness, not denial, I am free to choose my point of focus.
- Pursuits without grace are endless quests for perfection.
I’ve seen both seen people take joy in the pursuit of more. I’ve also seen the art of minimalism gain popularity over the last decade. Although the pursuits are slightly different, they both see to stake a claim “I have achieved (more/less).”
“I have chased more and I have chased less. I have lived large and I have lived small. I have sped up, slowed down, traded up, pared down, built myself up, fallen down. But have I looked up? Laid it down? Perhaps we were never meant to change the pace. We were meant to surrender it.“
With grace, I can lower the noise around me and get clear. I believe this is what we all want. The race is not about getting ahead or falling behind. It is about living up to the expectations were meant to.
I once heard Jim Rohn say, “life is not about what you get, it’s about what you become.” Wise words.
- I don’t need to measure or control everything
I was taught to set SMART goals and make metrics for things I want to achieve. I am learning that I don’t need to do this for everything. These tools are useful in the right context. However, when the accumulation or reduction becomes too restricted, I need to stop and ask if this is important at this time. .
- The race of life is not for us to win or lose.
“Many who are last will be first, and the last will be first.” ~Matthew 19:30
It really resonated with me when Erin reminded herself, “…keep slowing down, you’ve got a race to lose.” There are times when I feel like I don’t have enough time to do all the things that I want.
When I am sitting there thinking about all these things, I am doing nothing. It is possible to be in the race, to enjoy it and not have to be the first. If I happen to be first, that’s okay. If I’m not first, that’s okay too.
I must admit that I read this book slowly. It took me over a year to finish. Other things distracted me in between.
Nevertheless, I’m glad that I was able to finish the book. It has encouraged me to truly“chase slow.”
I hope this book will encourage you too.