Do Not Slow Down, Quiet Down, Wait, Think Less, Feel Less, and Shrink Even if it Feels Safer to Do Just That

You may have received messages from relatives, friends, teachers, therapists, and your cat Frederick to slow down, quiet down, wait, think less, feel less, and shrink. You may have felt overwhelmed by events on Planet Earth so you have wanted to hide, retreat, shut down, and sob endlessly. You may be tempted to jump into the social media fray and reduce your complex, nuanced, empathetic analysis of events into quick little catchy memes. You may even be doubting your complex, nuanced, informed empathy because no one around you seems to share it. You may feel like you’re living in a sea of assumptions, ignorance, and dumbfuckery platitudes.

OK. Wait. I confess. I realize I swim in my own sea of assumptions, ignorance, and dumbfuckery platitudes. After all, I have mastered the art of Instagram memes. I recognize we all have our blind spots, biases, and inaccurate beliefs.

And so then, coming from my particular sea of blind spots, biases, inaccurate beliefs, assumptions, ignorance, and platitudes, I have some suggestions for you.

The suggestions: Allow yourself to accept, recognize, and embrace your rainforest-mindedness. What does that mean? That means do not slow down, quiet down, wait, think less, and shrink. That means do not hide, retreat, and shut down. (You may still need to sob.) That means find YOUR PARTICULAR means of expansion, expression, and beingness. Use the tools that are readily available (my books!) such as journaling, introspection, healing practices, therapies, acupuncture, relationships, reading, spirituality, meditation, art, music, and more, to gain support for this journey. You are on a life-long adventure to be your fullest YOU.

And in case you’re wondering, I can tell you this with some confidence because I am on this journey, too. I am finding my way to more expansion, expression, and beingness. My particular version. And it’s not easy. It’s like crawling out of the tiny box I lived in for years, maybe lifetimes. Fighting my way out. Then slinking back in when it feels safer or wiser or easier. In and out of the darn box. Letting go of old identities formed by experiences in my family, passed down through generations. Letting go of attachment to my limitations and to the awkwardness of my swirling doubts, so that I might be able to imagine I have something to say, to, um, super smart people! That is really the most hysterical part, if you want to know the truth.

Old identities, limitations, doubts, and hysteria. I’m not letting them stop me.

Don’t let them stop YOU.


To my bloggEEs: I must confess to you, I love the word dumbfuckery. What words do you love? And how are you finding your particular expansion, expression, and beingness? I can not tell you how much it means to me that you are still here. Sending you as much love as I can muster. 💚

(Note: I just started reading A Therapeutic Journey by Alain de Botton. I love what he has to say about inner work, therapy, and relationships.)

Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

14 responses to “Do Not Slow Down, Quiet Down, Wait, Think Less, Feel Less, and Shrink Even if it Feels Safer to Do Just That”

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  1. itssue42 Avatar

    whimsy – a happy, quirky path to take just because

  2. Alia Avatar

    Favorite words (today).
    Floof. Since acquiring a cat, I have learned that “floof,” a portmanteau of fluff and poof by way of the UK, is both one of her finest qualities, and also the enemy combatant in my battle not to eat, wear, and generally be coated in fuzz. Her favorite words are “treat,” “chomp,” and “velocity” — her solutions to all problems.
    Portmanteau is another good one. Thank you, Lewis Carroll.
    Mumpsimus. Clinging to a mistaken belief despite evidence to the contrary (literally mis-heard Latin, back when a mondegreen happened at mass rather than listening to the radio). Also the name of my stuffed rabbit, cleverly named by a friend.
    Asshat. Thank you, early 2000s internet for both the flood of asshats and the appropriate label for them.
    w00t! Ridiculously dated now; the exaltation closest to my heart.
    Variegated. From yarn to fur to foliage, if it’s variegated, it’s gonna be good.
    Snacks. Laden with none of the preconceived boundaries of a meal, a nosh can be anything. I love hearing there are going to be snacks.
    Kaiju. A film genre, a giant monster, (a way of life for my cat), Japanese for “strange beast.”

    As for “beingness,” uh. I’m writing my 23rd (terrible) novel in a month this November. I’m long overdue for an intervention, but here we are again. It’s not going well, yet. I had some basic life stuff to catch up on now that I’m no longer a maenad (i.e. the short course of steroids is done). While a little bananas, I ordered some fantastically loud yarn. Oops. Gonna learn to crochet and make a blanket that’s visible from space.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Oh my, Alia. I’m so glad I asked this question. What wonderful words we’re discovering! Good luck with the novel and the blanket. 😊

  3. Leafy Avatar

    Favorite words in English: mellifluous, saccharine, tang, peppermint, poppadom, stupa, and balm. Lots of flavored stuff it would seem! Also, love, for what it represents; perhaps other words like that as well, like depth, imagination, facet, authentic, sincere, and color. Also lavender and verisimilitude.

    In my native French: pétillant (fizzy), dragée (flavored bean), mirliton (eunuch flute), vanille (vanilla), amour (love), profondeur (depth), bariolé (motley), labyrinthe (labyrinth or maze), citrouille (pumpkin), fleur bleue (sappy, literally “blue flower”), chat (cat). Also, tournesol (sunflower), lavande (lavender) and toucan (same in English).

    Thank you for the opportunity to list these words, word lover here as well.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Of course! There is the sound of the word and then also what it represents. Now we need a recording of you saying these French words, Leafy. The sound of French! Magnifique!

  4. Nicole Warner Avatar
    Nicole Warner


    Schadenfreude <– one of my favorites!
    thunderplump – a sudden, rainy thunderstorm
    Whatever one calls the sound of rain on a roof–anybody here know it?
    to ‘disimprove’ something – in German: verschlimmbessern
    (one’s daily) ablutions
    complimentary – because it can indicate a compliment and that something is a gift, and also because you have to put more work into saying ‘complimentary’ than its four-letter synonym.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Love this list, Nicole. Thunderplump? Really? 😂

      1. Nicole Warner Avatar
        Nicole Warner

        Oh I forgot one: CRAPTASTIC.
        Crap + fantastic = craptastic.
        It’s satisfying to say, and OK to say in most company, plus it’s quite expressive.

        1. Alia Avatar

          Craptastic is a good one, yes.

    2. Leafy Avatar

      For the sound of rain on a roof, maybe “pitter-patter” or “drumming”? I like the French word for it though, it’s “tambourinement” (from “tambourin”, a percussion instrument).

  5. Laura Lynn Walsh Avatar
    Laura Lynn Walsh

    One of my favorite words is “egregious”, partly because, when I first learned it, I did so through reading and, in my mind, I pronounced it completely wrong. And also partly because it is an excellent modifier: more elegant and emotion-sensitive than “most interesting” or “really bad”. E.g., that was an egregious comment.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Ooooh, yes! Egregious!

  6. Deborah Nam-Krane Avatar
    Deborah Nam-Krane

    Thanks, I really needed this today. I’ve had a very challenging two months, and the last two days I decided to indulge myself by going for a walk in a beautiful green space near my home. When I was out yesterday I was not ready to appreciate, literally, how three-dimensional everything was, and I thought this morning that I wanted to avoid being on screens again for a really long time and not do any online meet ups so I could interact with people in person. I feel like I’ve retreated from The Real World, but not by choice, and after all of my complaints about it, I have to say that it really is a wonderful place, especially compared to the sterile and very artificial (on all different levels) spaces I’ve had to spend way too much time in for the last 59 days.

    Don’t retreat! Revel and make it yours.

    1. pprober Avatar

      Thank you Deborah. That nourishment in three-dimensional nature is so important. Glad to have you here.