The act of slowing down gives you more than a swift kick into the present moment—it packs a punch alright.
If there is one change you’d like to dedicate yourself to making, this may just be your one.
It’s the one little shift that shifts every little thing.
The act of slowing down infiltrates you almost instantaneously; it’s force ricocheting and reverberating off every single cell in your body, as the effects of moving slowly, intently and carefully, ripple, radiate and reflect out into the reality wrapped loosely around your shoulders.
Slowing down changes everything.
It shifts and sways everything inside of you, and consequently, your experience of everything outside of you.
(We can’t change what happens on the outside, but we can change what happens on the inside, and that changes everything.)
Slowing down is one potently powerful little tool, and amazingly enough, it’s super simple (the best things always are) and rewards with super speedy results (and don’t we all like things to happen quick quick?!).
But the best part isn’t even that slowing down is a quick fix to feeling overwhelmed, over-emotional, over it, but that this quick fix is one with a long-lasting hit.
The rewards of slowing down stay with you long after the moment of full awareness has subsided. They echo out, they linger there, layered throughout your head and your heart and your body, as little markers and anchors of what exactly being at ease feels like.
And you want to be at ease right?
Well, it’s pretty hard to be chill-axed when you’re constantly rushing through life, and it’s just a tad difficult to be calm and collected when on top of running late for work, you’ve now misplaced your keys, spilled your coffee on your freshly ironed shirt, knocked over a plant, accidentally stubbed your toe, tripped over your cat, and slammed your hand in the door.
Why not make things easier on yourself, and just slow dooooown! (Slow and steady always wins the race.)
Rushing rarely makes you move faster, it usually just adds a bit more flurry and fury to the party. And isn’t that just what you’re after when you’re already 20 minutes late for work?
So just take a deep breath and slow down, yes, even if you’re in a huge rush—especially if you’re in a huge rush—take a deep breath. It’ll help you slow down. It’ll throw you a line to pull yourself out of your head, out of the tangle of the one million things you think or know you need to get done, and launch you straight into your body.
You’re missing shit. A lot of it.
Not only missing out on moments like the one where you tucked your keys away safely into the inside pocket of your bag, or the one where your cat elegantly stepped in front of you when you checked out to check in to your hurry frenzy, but you’re missing out on life. Your life.
As I’ve said before, we miss the good, we miss the beauty, we miss the sweet smells and the sweet smiles and the overall sweetness of life when we rush through it. All the jewels go unnoticed when they’re whirling by in your peripheral vision, nothing getting the gift of your full attention. We’re always rushing to what’s next, looking for the next good quote, the next amazing photo, the next Facebook post, the next blog, the next pose we’ll master, our next home, next car—we rush towards, and usually into, our next relationship. We’re constantly searching for more without ever fully acknowledging what is.
Slow down so that you can see the goodness. It’s just there, behind the hurry…
There is always going to be somewhere we have to go, or something we have to get done, or something we think we need to do. Always. That’s not going to stop, and in fact, your life may just get even busier, so what then?
Just keeping rushing until you get to wherever it is you think you’re going, and just make the small sacrifice of missing out on your life in the meantime? So when does the rushing end and the living start? When you retire? When you get that job or that degree, when you get married, have a baby, build your first house, buy that car you’ve always wanted, or finally nail that yoga pose, that marathon—do you wait until you’ve run the race?
Where do you draw the line?
Right now hopefully.
Get real with yourself: is it really going to fuck the timing of your whole entire day if you just slow down a little bit? Will it ruin your day if you breathe deeper, if you walk slower, if you notice more goodness engraved in the world overflowing around you? Will it kill you to just pause a moment and smell the roses?
Being two minutes earlier for something isn’t worth missing all the beautiful moments that happen before it.
We let so many beauties slide and irreplaceable time glide by, without even batting an eyelid. How many details of our lives go unnoticed while we’re busy running late, or untangling the scatter of never-ending thoughts behind our eyelids?
So I’m thinking that we must be forgetting that life is unfolding right now.
Now, while you’re reading this blog, while you’re living your day, while you’re breathing your life. On your walk to work, while you brew your coffee, change the day’s 500th shitty nappy, while you make dinner, while you make a living, while you’re busy making yourself a life.
So, since life is happening now, now is probably a good time to step up and live it, because checked in, not checked out, is where we ultimately need to be if we plan on living our lives out to their fullest.
How are you meant to act as co-creator if you’re moving so quickly you’re missing half of all the shit that’s actually going on? How are you meant to make calm and clear and conscious decisions when your brain’s on frazzle fast-forward and you’ve completely stressed yourself out? It’s pretty hard to keep your cool when your running around rushing and ruffling up your peace.
So start giving yourself more time.
Because you deserve to enjoy your life. Because it’s possible to replace reactiveness with responsiveness when you’re moving slow enough to notice how you’re feeling. Because it’s easier to see the beauty bedazzling the world around you when you’re actually there with it.
Happiness and the beauty of life are always there; your calm and peace are always there. The problem is, we are not always there. Physically, yeah sure, if you count moving at lightning speed, like a blur through time, spray painted, messy, scattered, across the canvas of your life, being present…
So slow down, whip the fog off the mirror, drown the dust and dirt out from the windows of your eyes, and just watch how everything suddenly clarifies.
Give yourself more time. Get up five or 10 minutes earlier so you can have a longer shower, have your breakfast in peace, or walk to work without running. Take it all in, soak up your life and enjoy it.
Trust me, you won’t notice 10 minutes less of sleep, but you will notice 10 extra minutes of peace!
So next time you notice yourself gearing up into hectic zone, take a deep breath and remind yourself:
Nothing is worth rushing through your life for!
(Besides, I think I’ve heard it may just be slow and steady that wins the race!)Photo: Jesse Desenberg Photo: Kelli Prieur
Ed: Brianna B.
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