Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The Secret to Slow Part 1

Apr 06, 2022

Some people call this a slow method. Others say that the hardest thing about this method is moving slowly. We NeuroMovement teachers spend a lot of energy and breath convincing students, over and over, to slow down. And sometimes, no matter how often we say it, some people just don’t. Or won’t. Or can’t.

 I see students struggle all the time with this simple directive to move slowly. 


The paradox is that moving slowly is a secret key that accelerates faster learning and outcomes. 


That’s why I want to illuminate why it can be hard for you to move slowly in a lesson, and how your ability to move slowly takes an act of conscious brain control.

Moving slowly is a crucial strategy for learning new information, and accelerating changes in the brain. 


What is about slow? Why is slow important, and why is it often actually challenging to do?


Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has a wonderful book called Thinking Fast and Slow, in which he describes 2 systems of your brain: the fast system, and the slow system.  


I call it your two-headed brain. 

You can think of your two-headed brain as supporting your one purpose: organizing you to move through your unique life story as you fulfill your role on this earth.


These two “heads” both have very important jobs. As you become more attuned to what they do, you’ll recognize them in yourself, and more easily leverage them to your benefit. 


Meet System #2, The Director

Daniel Kahneman calls your slow brain thinking System #2. This is the system you tend to think of as “you” and what I like to call The Director.


The Director works thoughtfully, deliberately, and attentively. She’s a responder, a visionary, and a guide. She takes her time to find solutions to complex problems. She works through problems step by step, which requires concentration and mental effort.


You, in the job of The Director, hold a vision, carry out the intention, and orchestrate the direction of your own intended actions. 

Which 21st Century Film Director Are You? - One Room With A View



You as The Director have the intense role of observing what’s going on, noticing the unusual, guiding what you want to happen, and deciding if and when you want it to stop. This is a job that requires attention. If you’re distracted, the show can still go on, but you're no longer directing it. Here’s an example of what your Director's mind does well. Answer this:



Did you come up with the solution instantly? I’m guessing no. Maybe you stopped reading for a moment and felt your mind register that you're not going to instantly work out this problem right now. You need a minute.

This is how your inner Director works. You observe something that catches your attention, and it requires attention to work it out. As you just experienced, it's not a fast process. It's a slow one. 

Being the Director requires conscious attention and awareness.


You do this all the time. Like when you’re picking out an ensemble to wear to a party, deciding on a recipe to cook for dinner, driving in the blinding rain, writing a thoughtful thank you card, or managing your social diplomacy on Facebook. These tasks require you to slow down and pay attention to the job at hand. 

When you're acting from your inner Director, you're also absorbing new experiential data-  the source of your attention- and integrating it as the knowledge you can draw from in the future. This is how you learn new skills. 


Read on to discover the surprising other head in your two-headed brain: System # 1!

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