Plenty of people talk about the difference in pace between the United States and basically the rest of the world. Anyone who knows me or my family knows that we always approach time with a flexibility that can be counter-cultural (unless its my Bangladeshi side). Its safe to say that things in Rwanda, and especially Kayonza, move a little slower than things back home. I have also found that the Rwandan way of life has taught me how to be more gentle.
I have always lived with some heightened level of anxiety which can become even worse when I am particularly stressed. I was never one to do things slowly or, admittedly, in a reasonable time frame (#procrastination). While keeping up with the speed of life can be exhilarating and, in some professions, valued or mandatory, there is something very satisfying about embracing a more gentle side. This has translated to all areas of life. Sometimes it is simply in my movements and urgency to complete tasks that take time. Other times, it is actually walking gently (and slowly). I have nicknamed this the Kayonza Krawl 😂.
So here is what I have learned. When I am gentle with myself, I enjoy the time that I have in the presence of others and in solitude. When I allow myself to be intentional with my movements, I allow my body to rest the way it needs. This also means that when I am having a particularly bad day, that gentleness allows me to engage any and all emotions that come up. Perhaps you could even call some of it mindfulness.
I am grateful for Kayonza for teaching me so much about the value of gentleness. Though the pace of the world can at times be break-neck, practicing gentleness of mind, body, and spirit has given me a balance greater than I could’ve imagined.