Slowing down can light the way towards inner change

I was watching a tortoise creep in the cold, realising that it can move a lot faster during sunnier days. The seasons affect us all in different ways, and at times our pace internally can slow too. When life is less sunny, and distress arrives it can be hard to feel like ourselves. 


The slow cold start to this year gave me pause for thought, settling on tuning into the ‘inner tortoise’, and tuning out the ‘hasty hare’. As the wintry spring slowly thaws I’m reminded of this. This spring has been cold and long, finding that slower, endurance pace has been vital to successfully navigate this pandemic time. With bulbs, blossom and leaves appearing I notice some of the pace and spirits around me picking up, as we begin to unlock from restricted interactions. 

There are many messages about how important consistency is in eating, exercise, work, sleep, and even self-care. Inconsistency is often the byword for somehow letting ourselves down, or not being good enough. I want to challenge this.  

Much like the tortoise, perhaps these slower times when we ‘achieve less’ are in fact what we need. An opportunity.

Given the challenges of the enduring nature of the pandemic, could it be that like marathon runners (and tortoises) it is entirely appropriate that we slow down so that we can contemplate the impact of change?

If we’ve been sprinting so far, for so long, perhaps running out of puff, pace, enthusiasm, being less consistent is entirely consistent with the traumatic situation we have been immersed in. Being inconsistent can potentially offer the opportunity to think about what we need, even if that’s just to acknowledge what’s going on for us, and reflect for a while. The challenge may be to enter into this without judgement. 

Often when I listen to people begin to tell their story they come with frustration that they want to get rid of anxiety; they’ve had it for so long and wish it would stop plaguing their life. Feelings of distress can be inconsistent with how they view their life, or somehow it’s judged as a disproportionate response to something they view as a trivial hiccup along the way. 

How counselling can help?

On closer reflection, together, it’s often found that an inflection point in life has had a huge impact. Counselling and psychotherapy help explore this through compassionately listening and enquiring into what you are saying. Together we can explore why a particular experience in your life, that may have been insignificant to others, is really very important to you.

Your beliefs, values and experiences are all intertwined uniquely. Exploring these, alongside your relationship with yourself and others, we can come to understand what you make of your life and how you wish to live from now. 

Slowing down helps create space. To see things differently. Counselling might not be something that you do consistently throughout your life, but it can help to pause and look at things in a new light with someone new. From a new perspective, new energy can emerge. 

To find out more about how I can help you, either online or face to face,  please get in touch

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5TE
Written by Ruth Terry, BA (Hons), BA, PGDip, MBACP (Accred)
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5TE

Ruth Terry is a BACP registered Psychotherapeutic Counselling experienced in working with clients during times of anxiety, relationship crisis and loss. She practices from central Tonbridge, Kent, either face to face, or online. To find out more visit

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