Mindfulness

Slowing Down

Lotus

I remember how a dear friend of mine in Michigan used to move very peacefully and slowly, only focusing on whatever she was doing in that moment. At the time, I could not fathom moving that slow. I thought to myself, she doesn’t have children so she has the unlimited leisure of taking her time. I was living on a working farm then, and raising a teenager. I envied her calm life.

I wanted more than anything to be able to not have to do the huge list of farm chores each day. Racing and running through each labor intensive segment as if there was a gun held to my head was draining the life out of me. At times throughout the day I wore a timer on a rope around my neck, giving me a ten minute window to have a cup of tea, or a 15 minute window before the goats needed to be milked. This continued on until I fell into complete, prostrate exhaustion every single night, in my bed.

I no longer live on the farm, nor live at that frenzied pace. I’ve made wise choices that have allowed me to slow down and care for myself in a much healthier way. The process of slowing down allows us to be more sensitive to smaller things. It allows us to open up our souls and let them become the huge, and beautiful force that they’re meant to be.

People are moving and talking faster than ever before. Everything has sped up, and it’s easy to get caught up in that. Ten years ago the average speech rate was only about 140 words per minute. Now people are cramming in between 170 to 180 words per minute. Speaking in this fast pace makes us feel anxious, rushed and sick. We need to practice slowing down and being in each moment.

This month, I’ve begun each day doing whatever it is I intend on doing in a relaxed, and slowed manner. I’m also trying to speak slower, and move slower. Whenever I sit, I also allow myself to relax my muscles, drop down into my heart, and take some slow, deep breaths. I feel grateful to have arrived at this place in my life. Little things are noticed, and life feels blessed.