Fast List/Slow List

Life Design Action: Make a Fast List/Slow List

Why? Because it bloody works and it is BRILLIANT

Requires: A bit of paper, fast excitable thinking, the sort of enthusiasm a child has when writing a birthday list

Does not require: Questioning people.

(Have you noticed the way in which time can speed up or slow down (in our perception) depending on what is going on? When we are nervous time slows to a dull tick. When we are having a ball, it streaks past like lightening. I believe that we can expand or reduce time, depending on how we want to experience it. I also believe we can shift our ability to do things fast or slowly, simply by questioning our conditioned beliefs.) 


The Fast List/Slow List Idea

Two Sundays ago …

Threw myself through Naughty N’s front door, tripped on mat that said “Welcome to the N’s Mad House” then scrambled up the stairs whilst yelling “it’s ME!” over my shoulder. Screeched to a halt on landing, took a sharp left and threw self into bathroom and began desperately trying to peel off lycra running shorts.


Some bastard had had a bath – a hot bath – and the whole room was like a volcanic steam cloud of epic proportions. Why couldn’t Naughty N’s family just empty the bath for Gods sake? Did they not know that I was about to run in, sweating like a sweat-lodge, desperate for the biggest wee ever and unable to remove wet-suit clingy lycra cycling shorts due to sudden onslaught of clammy wet air?


I managed to do the deed in skin-of-teeth time.

Let out deep sigh. Pulled up cycling shorts.

  Momentarily felt bad for calling NN and Spouser bastards (as after all, they are like family) then forgave self and galloped downstairs to announce The Idea.

Naughty N was in the kitchen all by herself, flittering about like an angelic cleaning fairy. Everything was looking very sparkly and there was a huge coral coloured glass vase of coral coloured lilies, spraying out from the island in the middle of the kitchen (an island built by Spouser because he is blessed with the ability to make DIY with speed and skill).

“Hello!” beamed Naughty N. “That took ages. It was like the longest run EVER.”

“It was actually quite a quick run,” I replied, dragging steaming body onto a breakfast bar tool and ruining the calm, clean ambience simply by existing. “I got waylaid having a conversation with someone, then started running quite slowly, then had this IDEA and then I ran reallyreally fast.”

“Ooh, that sounds nice,” said Naughty N, fluttering angelically across to the kettle. “Would you like tea?”

“Yes, that would be lovely. But I need paper too. I need to show you this.” Scrabbled around in egg basket for an envelope, then demanded a pen and began to gallop through my idea explanation whilst Naughty N boiled the kettle.


Three days previous …

Was lying on bed in hermetic PMT haze, reading an online article about men who wear foundation and started finding phrases that reminded me very much of my book, Grow Your Own Gorgeousness.

(You can see it up THERE to the right, gleaming like a piece of beautiful precious amber. You should BUY that book if you haven’t already btw).

Anyway, I followed the breadcrumb trail of mouse clicks and found an organisation that were promoting a message very similar to Gorgeousness. The difference was that these guys had massive names, massive budgets and massive finances attached. They had also lifted a number of phrases from my book and used them for their own thing.


After a whistle-stop tour from choked upset, anger, victim-grump to a bizarre acceptance about this dog-eat-dog world, I then slunk downstairs and rang my wonderful friend and voice-of-wisdom, Fosbury Goddess.

“Well what does it say to you?” Fos asked me after I’d projectile vomited my bile and bitterness at not having the time, money, resources etc to take Grow Your Own Gorgeousness to the world platform that she deserves. “Apart from the fact it has ball-flicked a chip on your shoulder?” she added with beautifully eloquent diplomacy.

I was quiet for a bit. Then I said, “What I find most upsetting is that if I committed to taking GYOG to a world platform, I’d have to dedicate my whole life to it. And I don’t feel I can do that. I have too many other creative hatchlings that also need to be brought into this world and I’m also passionate about them. Each project will be too SLOW to make happen and so I am at a loss as to what to DO.”

Turns out I have this pathological need to do Everything, an irritating belief that I Can but not enough time to dedicate to any one thing.


Now THAT is a ball-flick.


Am jogging

up the hill

towards Naughty N’s.

It’s a sunny day. Foxgloves n wild grass are blowing in the breeze.

Reminds me of being a kid

at primary school.

Summer warmth and Robinsons Barley.

Thoughts turn to Sports Day.


(Most humiliating day of the year for me. Couldn’t run. Was the slowest in class.

The one race I won  a prize for was the Egg and Spoon race. I was the only kid who didn’t cheat and hold the egg with my thumb.)

Pant pant.

Have egg n spoon integrity, me.

Jog jog.

Slip slap slip.

As I turn the corner at top of the hill it occurs to me that I was not fast at running, but I was a fast writer and a fast learner, a fast thinker.

Start thinking of other things I’m fast at;

getting fit,

losing weight,

gaining weight.

I used to be very fast to lose my temper, but now I’m slow.

I drink my too wine fast,

eat food too fast

and get bored



too fast.

I’m slow to judge people, slow to get up, slow to create my vision maps. I’m slow to learn to really truly trust someone. I don’t know why.

With this realisation

my minds speeds


Feet run faster

As I start to play with the idea

that I can move my body faster just by changing my belief about how fast I can go.

What if,

I changed drinking my wine fast

to “I create projects fast”

“I write my books fast”

“I create success fast”?

And suddenly

I’m re-catagorising in my head

what I am fast at

what I am slow at.

As the running speeds

and the feet fall faster,

 dawning inflow of ideas

gets stronger.

Time and speed is maluable.

As changeable as a thought.

And I realise we are only as fast/slow as we believe ourselves to be.

And we create the beliefs.


And breeeeeeeeathe.

“Here’s your cup of tea,” said Naughty N serenely. She placed a steaming mug next to my steaming hand and then leaned across the breakfast bar to see what I was drawing. Outside the sun was shining happily. I could hear birds singing and a dog barking in the distance. Naughty N’s tribe of children were all out – driven by Spouser to B&Q where he was buying more materials for the pizza oven he was building in the garden. The sense of peace and stillness in the Naughty household was like a pool in a glade in a wood. Peaceful as a mayfly.

“So, this is my fast list/slow list,” I explained, trying to slow everything down so I didn’t disrupt the Zen any more than I had already.

I drew out two columns on the page – the fast column  and the slow column.

Proceeded to make a list of all the things that I can do reallyreallyreally fast. Naughty N nodded and agreed and shared some of her far-to-fast actions. Then we moved on to the slow list and together wrote on everything that we did v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

“So do you see?” I chirped, looking up. “That we all are fast at some things and slow at others?”

“Yes. Totally!” declared Naughty N. Her serenity was disconcerting.

“And do you see that perhaps we can swop these fast things and slow things AROUND and that if I put “take GYOG to a global market” in the fast list, I could start making that HAPPEN???”

Naughty N opened her mouth to respond, but in that moment the front door flew open. Spouser piled In with four blonde beauties, all chattering and climbing and whooping and telling everyone  else what they wanted and what they did. One clambered onto the stool beside me, rested her dainty chin in her hand and began a Spanish Inquisition as to the whereabouts of Pix and Roo. Another leapt up and down on Spouser’s feet whilst Spouser put down a bag of groceries and asked if I’d like to run a new marathon with him.

I said yes, of course. I finished my tea, then bid farewell  to everyone and started running back home.

Inside I felt very warm and Zen.

Couldn’t wait to get home and get started on my Goal/Mindset Map for Action. Also, I couldn’t wait to share this insight with you. At first I started running home really fast, but then I decided to relish the feeling and slowed down to simply walk, feel the sunshine and smile.

Because long summer days are on my slow list.

My Grow Your Own Gorgeousness Goal Map

A1 Grow Your Own Gorgeousness Goal Map – Created Quite Quickly


13 thoughts on “Fast List/Slow List

  1. Ooh, there’s lots I could swap round on my lists! I’m on holiday next week – that’s when I intend doing some thinking so it’s all food for that thought! 🙂
    I do think GYOG should be more widely read. And certainly by teenagers – I want my 14 year old daughter to even read just the first chapter but she ain’t gonna do that for her “muuuuuuum”! 😉

    • Before you go C, get a pad and make a list of all the stuff that you currently do quickly and slowly. Its kind of hard to think of them all on the spot, so a pad is good. For example, today I realised that I am very very very slow at putting washing away. I hate it. If I had that on my fast list I’d actually be inclined to BEGIN it and maybe finish it. Then – when you are on holiday, think of all the things you WANT to do faster and then chuck them on your fast list. Then it is all about re-juggling which side you want everything to be on – then lying back on your chair and feeling very self satisfied. xxx Ps. Are you going anywhere for your holiday? (I feel like a hairdresser asking that)

      • Oh and PPS. I have written the entire structure for the Maiden version of GYOG (a workshop for schools hence the Maiden name). Am going to see first school to discuss pilot on Friday (aiming to pilot the Women’s version in August). Its aimed at 14/15 year olds + so maybe I’ll turn up at your daughter’s school! (If the Mountain can’t get to Mohammed and all that) xx

  2. Do you think there might be room for a slow list and a slower list for very slow people like me? 🙂 I am sure your theories would still apply. I lost my ‘fast’ somewhere 😦

  3. I’ll start my lists this week then 🙂 We’re off to the Isle of Skye for a week then a week at home. We’ve rented a house that’s in the middle of nowhere, up a dirt track, log stove for the evenings, large piece of secluded land next to the beach, looking over the sea, hills, trees and wildlife galore – sound good? 😉
    When you come to Edinburgh I’d love you to see my daughter and the whole school! Although she’s probably not got to the advanced stages the adults have to so need the GYOG messages, it’s more to get them before they get this bad! 😉
    And I reckon that anyone who has tried to plagiarise your work couldn’t do it – there’s no way they could say / write it the way you do, and not with the same integrity, clarity, humour and ‘calm’.
    It must be very difficult to go global on your own – you need lots of little Bethan clones! 🙂
    P.s. having read GYOG, should accepting compliments not be on the fast list? Nothing arrogant, just knowing that you deserve them?

    • Hello C – your holiday sounds like an utter DREAM. I know how much you like the Isle of Skye and I’m very happy that you are off somewhere so lovely. The house sounds perfect … wild and raw and gorgeous!!! I’m looking at doing the pilots for GYOG in what is left of this year with the view to launching them more nationally next year. Initially I think it will be a case of travelling to schools myself and delivering, but eventually I’d like to train others up to deliver the material. I quite like the idea of training young adults up – perhaps the girls who have been through the programmes themselves. So yes – little Bethan clones, but obviously distinct and unique and gorgeous in their own right.

      Thanks for the plagiarise-reassurance. I was chatting to a client this morning about it and saying that they’ve done me a favour. There’s no way I’ll waste any time challenging them about the behaviour, because frankly they are doing a bloody good job of delivering a bloody important message and I’d rather channel my energy and focus into something far more positive. What is currently available in all these organisations is a great surge in raising people’s awareness. What they don’t offer is a journey OUT of the current mess. This is where my GLOBAL programme is going to come in. Hurrah!

      And finally, yes, I believe that accepting compliments should be on the turbo-fast list.
      Loads of love to you C xxx

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