I knew things had taken a turn for the worse when I noticed on the shelf of my local supermarket that you can buy a marinade that only takes 30 seconds to do the job. I felt not a little disappointed, I have to admit. It seemed another step to even more things being done at super-fast speed. No one seems willing to wait, even for meat or fish to marinade.
To my mind the whole nature of marinating something is about giving the combination of different complementary flavours time to meet and connect in a significant way with whatever it has been splashed or brushed onto. After a couple of hours when you cook the marinated item the taste is altogether different from either the ingredients that were combined or the meat or fish’s native flavour. The texture is tender and quite delicious- and worth waiting for, if I do say so myself, coming from a long line of marinaders
The work we do as therapists is a mixture of many ‘flavours’ understanding self , understanding the ‘other’, getting sense of the whole system, the energy between the two people in the room. The nuances of this deeper way of working and connecting builds trust and confidence so that together the work of both parties has altogether its own uniqueness in the relationship. This is hard to do without our full hearted attention and enough time as we attune our inner ear to hear our own note as much as adjusting to the other’s music , manner and meaning. These don’t happen in the blink of an eye. In fact if we rush we risk losing sight of what a slowing down of our pace can yield. Shortcuts, quick routes, one click service all seems to be pushing us to everything quicker so that we can do even more stuff quicker. Why?
There is a well known quote line about taking time to smell the roses. I often hear people use it in a retrospective manner about what they could have, should have done. It is a good line to take to heart (and action) before something occurs to make us nostalgic about the roses we may have missed along the way. In truth it is never too late to start paying some slow attention, especially now in June. As it goes roses are coming into their own pretty soon. You can’t rush a rose. It’s worth the wait when they arrive in full bloom.
So what are you doing that could use a little marination in your life? A little slow cooking? What if for even a little time you went the slow route rather than the fast? A stroll rather than a trot? It seems to me that the end of our lives comes roaring up all too quickly. Why should we race there?
For the next two weeks: pick one activity in your normal schedule and do it but do it slowly and with full attention in to whatever it is, whether brushing your teeth, peeling an orange walking to work. Look, and appreciate. Leave it to soak in and really be with it.
And if anyone wants a jolly good BBQ marinade then I’m your girl.