Lessons from a Life Coach: slow down, you move too fast

learn to slow down with Katarina Stoltz

Tomorrow is the last day of this year and I am taking the opportunity to reflect on what has been my most important learning during 2016.

It’s no doubt learning to slow down- to pause, to accept silence and be present.

What is your most important learning this year?

I find that we far too often focus on what we have not done, succeeded, or accomplished. That usually makes us feel not good enough, not worthy, nor satisfied.

As a reaction to this we often make new years resolutions as a reaction to what we are NOT. We should work out more, eat less sugar, travel more, socialize more and so on. DO MORE as a reaction to an unfulfilled life.

My best learning this year, is that I shall not do more, rather do less.

The challenge with slowing down

Answer the phone, text your friend, rush to work, grab a cup of coffee, answer an email, rush to kindergarten, cook dinner, clean up…

Are we breathing?

I realized I stopped being aware of my senses. I forgot to look up, watching the sky from time to time. I did not smell nature anymore. And many times I had ignored my body when it had told me to rest- to slow down.

Slowing down gives us time to be more authentic and alive in every way. 

And with every new insight comes a new challenge. My biggest challenge with slowing down and becoming MORE PRESENT was losing control and feeling feelings I did not want to feel.

Looking back on this year, I am so thankful to myself, and the people around me, who supported me on this journey. I am slowly taking off the masks, which have been protecting me from being myself.

It’s immensely scary to have a look behind the masks, and it’s so much worth it!

The state of presence

“It’s from this place we can make meaningful contact with others, as we slow down enough to be able to experience another’s eyes, to see into the soul. Then we are open, congruent, in harmony and in balance”

When did you last look into someone’s eyes being fully present?

I have been practicing this a lot this year, with friends, colleagues and as a trainer. Usually people are astonished with how touching it is.

It looks like we have forgotten what it is like to slow down and connect. And we become overwhelmed by all the feelings, which are there in us- suppressed.

I feel blessed that I allowed myself to open up this year and slow down.

And yes, there is a time to go fast, to get things done. But we are trained to always go fast, and it is hard for us to break out of it, even for a short time now and then.

The Tortoise and the hare

It’s like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. Hare, arrogant and cocky, rushes past Tortoise smirking. Tortoise is ambling along smelling everything in sight…going slowly and enjoying his journey. While Hare is looking the other way, distracted, Tortoise crosses the finish line first.

The power of slowing down

The sun is shining in a wintery cold Berlin and I will take a walk to enjoy whatever this day has to offer me. And I have butterflies in my stomach when I think of what kind of challenges and new learnings are waiting for me during 2017.

Now when I have slowed down, I might see the opportunities I wouldn’t have seen if I had moved too fast.


I will offer us all an enjoyable exercise, which I read in one of my Gestalt therapy books (Gestalt as a way of life, by Cyndy Sheldon)

  1. With awareness, do everything fast. Exaggerate this. Talk fast, move fast, breath fast, read fast, text fast. Now do it even faster. Then stop and see how you feel.
  2. Now take a few slow deep breaths. And with awareness, do everything slowly. Exaggerate this. Talk slower, move slower, read slower, text slower, breath slower. Stop and see what you experience.
  3. What did you miss when you went fast?
  4. Take some time, such as half an hour now and then and practice slowing down. And always pay attention to how you feel during and after.

I wish you all a SLOW and peaceful ending of 2016.



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I’m Katarina

Welcome to my blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to achieve fulfillment without burning out.


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