Learning to Slow Down

Throughout our lives, most of us are taught to get things done quickly. We learn from an early age, the faster the better. This concept teaches the act of ‘doing’ rather than the sense of ‘being’. To merely ‘do’ something, for the sake of getting it done, is not really embracing it for what it is. What if we are so rushed to get to the next phase, we are so fast-paced and focused on the end result, that we completely miss the “moment”? You miss the experience for what it is, the simple beauty of life as it is meant to unfold. This hurried pace and frenzy leads to feelings of disconnect. When you begin to slow down and see life through a different pair of glasses, you savor the little things more, you appreciate everything you are surrounded by. How difficult would it be to ‘turn off’ all the technology in your life every now and then? How about putting away the blackberry? How about ignoring your e-mail for a day? Would it be difficult? Of course it would! What would you gain from slowing down? Would you savor things a bit deeper? Technology and life are only going to continue to gain speed, so you need to control the speed of your own life. Deeper awareness and experiences are awaiting you, you just need to take the first step.

ACTION STEPS FOR THE WEEK:

1. Turn it off
OK, it’s time to slow down a bit. Is technology getting the best of you? I’m not asking you to get rid of the gadgets for good, just take a temporary break. Why not start small and work your way up? How about putting the blackberry and/or cell phone away while taking walks? Or, turn the computer off while talking on the phone with friends or family? Just for this week, make a conscious choice to notice your surroundings more while ditching the fast pace.

2. Just stop
Where in your life are you going at full speed? Are you overcommited with your time? Are you a taxi for your kids’ activities? Do you feel as though your days are going by like the blink of an eye? Take some time this week to just stop! When you feel your life zooming by, stop and take a deep breath, stop and examine your surroundings. Just stop what you are doing, even if just for a minute, and relish something around you that you would normally pass by.

3. Ask for help
It is difficult for the majority of us to make even subtle changes without a little help and support. Don’t hesitate to ask for help slowing down. Maybe you need your spouse to remind you to ignore the blackberry during dinner. Maybe you need a friend to remind you to turn the computer off while having a conversation with her. The more you practice the art of slowing down, the easier it will get. Commit to being more aware this week!

Have a great week!