“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” —Mohandas K. Gandhi

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”—Lily Tomlin

A few years ago when I was writing my book Power Animals, I would ask the spirit of each of the 36 animals for a message, then transcribe it. I was often amazed at the wisdom of the advice that would be conveyed, as if there was a Bluetooth in my head through which each of the spirit animals dictated what I was to write.

Turtle especially came through loud and clear. When I asked what message he wanted me to communicate, he said in a very slow, deep voice, “Slow down! You’ve got all-l-l-l-l-l-l the time in the world,” stretching out the words in a delightfully slow tempo of speech. Certainly made me listen that much more closely.

Flash forward to a recent vacation we took on the Big Island of Hawaii, where for the first few days we stayed with some good friends Bill and Stephanie. I was showing them the new Children’s Spirit Animal Cards and pulled one as a demonstration, asking simply what I needed to pay attention to for this vacation. I drew the Turtle card, which had a similar message: “Take your time.” I got it immediately that this was exactly the spirit animal and message I needed for this trip.

From there it was amazing how many times Turtle showed up in either physical or symbolic form. For instance, later that same day we went to Three Rings Ranch, the home of several rescued animals, and of course, there were two turtles there. Later that day we went snorkeling and two turtles appeared, resting on the rocks near the shoreline where we were swimming.

After we returned one evening I was reading a book to Ari and Serena, and the only animal that was in the book was a turtle. When I had searched for this book earlier, another one that had fallwen off the bookshelf was one of my favorites: Old Turtle. I’m not sure omens get any clearer than this! So even today I feel the presence of Turtle spirit and am continually reminded to slow down and take my time, to not get too caught up in the “hurry up sickness” that is so endemic to contemporary society.

The sage advice from Turtle spirit is captured in his words from the Children’s Spirit Animal Cards, followed by some suggestions to support taking your time:

So many people are in a hurry these days that it is easy to forget to slow down and enjoy whatever is happening. You remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Going faster doesn’t always get you where you are going any more than taking your time and going at your own pace. It also takes courage at times because there are so many rabbits running around like crazy! Just know you will get there just as quickly by going at your own speed and at your own rhythm no matter how quickly others move.

And don’t be in such a hurry to grow up too fast! You may find yourself wanting to do things the older kids are doing, or wanting to learn everything NOW. Know that over time you will learn everything you need to learn, so just take your time with each new thing you’re learning instead of rushing off to something else or being upset because you can’t accomplish more. It takes time to learn things, and you really have all the time in the world, so slow down and only move fast when you actually have to.


* Today walk a little bit slower than usual, breathing deeper and slower than usual in rhythm to your stride. Notice how that makes you feel.

* When you get involved with a project of any sort, take as much time as you need to complete it even if it extends over a few days (unless of course it’s homework that is due tomorrow!)

* Ask your mother or father to spend a few hours at the park or beach with no watches or clocks around to remind you of the exact time.

* Observe how the moon changes slowly over a period of about four weeks, since it takes its time doing so.

So try some of these out and see what happens. I’ve noted that when I heed Turtle’s advice I still get done what I need to, but stay calm and centered while doing them. I also take time to go outside whenever I can, even in the middle of writing projects that require continual focus. And life really is too short to make anything a bigger deal than it really is!

“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.” —Will Rogers

To purchase Children’s Spirit Animal Cards, click here.

About The Author:  Dr. Steven Farmer is the author of the several best-selling products including Children’s Spirit Animal Cards, Earth Magic, Animal Spirit Guides, Power Animals, Power Animal Oracle Cards, Messages from Your Animal Spirit Guides Oracle Cards, and Sacred Ceremony. He is a shamanic practitioner, ordained minister, hypnotherapist, former college professor and psychotherapist.  Dr. Farmer offers workshops and presentations on a variety of shamanic healing and earth-centered spirituality topics and also offers private shamanic healing sessions.  To learn more about his workshops or to contact him, please visit www.EarthMagic.net.

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