General

Slowing down to “smell the flowers” – can you do it?

When we rush through our days and lives, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living.

Throughout our lives, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly. We learn that doing is more valuable than just being, and that making the most of life is a matter of going ahead at a hurried pace. Yet as we lean forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, we find ourselves feeling increasingly harried and disconnected. More importantly, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living.

 When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of inconsequential aspects of life. Mealtimes become meditative celebrations of nourishment. A job well-done becomes a source of profound pleasure, no matter what the nature of our labors. In essence, we give ourselves the gift of time—time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully.

A life savored slowly need not be passive, inefficient, or slothful. Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment. Slowness can even be a boon in situations that seem to demand haste. When we pace ourselves for even a few moments as we address urgent matters, we can center ourselves before moving ahead with our plans. Embracing simplicity allows us to gradually get rid of those commitments and activities that do not benefit us in some way. The extra time we gain can seem like vast, empty stretches of wasted potential. But as we learn to slow down, we soon realize that eliminating unnecessary “hurriedness’ from our experiences allows us to fill that time in a constructive, fulfilling, and agreeable way. We can relish our morning rituals, linger over quality time with loved ones, immerse ourselves wholeheartedly in our work, and take advantage of opportunities to nurture ! ourselves every single day.

You may find it challenging to avoid giving in to the temptation to rush, particularly if you are used to a world of split-second communication, cell phones, email and overflowing agendas. Yet the sense of continuous accomplishment you lose when you slow down will quickly be replaced by feelings of contentment. Your relaxed new pace will open your mind and heart to deeper levels of awareness that help you discover the true wonderfulness of being alive.

Hey, this is one of my truly difficult things to “try” to do….  I even used to think that sleep was a terrible waste of time…. well, I am working on it (see- still not just “being”) — darn….. probably best to have some decaf tea…..