As the world pace quickens with the aid of technology people are increasingly wanting to do things quickly. Wisdom tells me differently. The more I meditate and reflect on this the more I am directed to slow down. It isn't always an easy process, but I truly believe it is an essential action that we must take. We all need to learn the art of slowing down, taking time to ourselves, and taking time to reflect and connect with the larger universe. Without slowing ourselves down we take the risk of operating on a level that is stressful, self-centered and potentially harmful to the larger world around us. Let's explore this subject further.
I personally often feel like I am in a rush. A rush to accomplish something. A rush to make money. A rush to prove my self-worth. Sprit and intuition however are directing me down a different path. I am reminded that we should slow down and take the time to just be. I will call this action the "art of slowing down". This has been my focus and practice for the last several years, but it isn't always easy. Our modern world has many fine qualities yet I think many of us realize that there is an underlying imbalance that we need to heal. Getting things done faster has its advantages, but this increased speed of life is also something we should be aware of. By first recognizing this in our daily lives we can then take steps towards balancing this by slowing down. Slowing down is about being present. Taking time to be in the moment without so many thoughts of the future. Meditation, prayer, reflection and any quiet time are essential for this goal. The art of slowing down is a personal thing. You need to find ways that work for you. There are guidelines that can help, but there are no rules. Slowing down is about letting go for awhile. It is based more on feeling, on calming of the mind, not on expectations. Letting go of the normal pressures and schedules of your life are part of this process.
How do we learn the art of slowing down? Here are some guidelines to help get you started.
1. Be Conscious - be aware of your speed and stress. Be conscious of your emotions. When you are stressed, angry or frustrated it's a signal to slow down. Be conscious of these signs and learn to follow your intuition when it tells you its time to slow down.
2. Make some time for yourself - Find some time each day to be quiet. 15-30 minutes is ideal, but even a few minutes is better than none. Mornings are a good time to start your day. Evenings can also work. Don't make it a stressful rule to have time, make it a positive habit that helps you slow down.
3. Learn to Breathe - Slow down by breathing slowly in and out when you need to calm yourself. Do this for a few minutes and calm the mind. Learn to let go and empty the mind of your thoughts and of your schedule. Focus on the breath and just be in the moment. This takes some time to learn, but is an easy technique that helps I encourage you to make the time to do this.
4. Schedule Less - Learn to schedule one less task or one less activity in your day. Don't try to rush to get everything done. Your well-being and happiness are just as important. Take time for yourself and enjoy the present moments. Schedule that quiet time for yourself and just be present with no goals, agendas or "to do" lists.
5. Be Present - Try to let go of the future and be in the present moment. Don't worry so much. Let go of any past thoughts. Take time to just be. You can learn this through having daily quiet time.
6. Find a method that works for you - Meditation, prayer or reflection work wonders. Find something that resonates with you and that helps you relax and slow down. Quiet time can also be spent in nature or on a walk. Find something that works for you.
The simple act of slowing down our lives, even if just for a few minutes a day, can change your life and others around you. By slowing down, being present and allowing yourself quiet time we find ourselves more at peace. We become more conscious and aware. These small changes add to the positive energy of the world and the larger cosmos. I encourage you to give it a try. It will make a positive difference in your life.