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July 23, 2014

4 Ways to Slow Down & Enjoy Life.

4 ways to slow down and enjoy life - Pratibha

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”

~  Gordon B. Hinckley

10 days ago when I was getting my boys back home from the bus bay, a sudden downpour caught us off guard. I was the only one without an umbrella. I yelled at them to hurry up, not liking to get wet in the rain, when one of them stopped me and said” But ma, look at the rain, it is so beautiful. I love walking in the rains. ”

Oh yes, didn’t I love it too?

Playing my my nephews by making paper boats and watching them flow down. Getting soaked the skin, yet not wanting to get inside the comfort of my home? When did I start hating the rain? Honestly, I have no answer to that question but what I do know is that a file waiting to be edited was making me rush back home.

I asked myself one question, “What am I seeking and why was I hurrying?”

I was getting too wrapped around work to notice the small things in life and enjoy them. Sometimes, I was too busy to notice the joy my twin boys received from the world, and I took them for granted. This was the time I knew I had to slow down and enjoy life with my boys.

I started with a small do-able list and I will add to it as the time goes by. I chose the tasks that seemed easy, but they were a tad difficult when it came to actually putting them into practice.

Living in the moment:

Yesterday my to-do list was completed faster than I thought it would be. With more than three hours that I could spare and beautiful weather outside, I decided to take the boys down for a game of football. I can’t describe the joy on their faces when we headed for an impromptu football session. These were small things I was missing out—the joy and laughter. Just living it easy. Earlier, I would have started working the to-do list of the next day but I chose to live for the moment. It made a difference.

Choosing a gentler pace:

Honestly, five more minutes to eat dinner won’t make a difference. Or sneaking that two minutes from a busy schedule to exchange a bunch of hi-fives with the boys because they completed the jigsaw puzzle without my help–it won’t cause my client to hold back a cheque. In the past 10 days, I have made a conscious effort to slow down.

I check my mails at longer intervals, try and wrap up my work before they are back home, spend time answering the questions and not snapping at them because they were distracting me. Slowing down made me appreciate time more. It has also made me aware of the love around me.

A tip that worked for me was to focus on one project and shutting down those unrelated windows on my laptop. It helped me work faster. The distraction to click on links within a post or an article I was reading was lesser!

Having me time:

Thankfully I am an early riser, so this was something that did not take too much time to make a habit. After waking up, I choose to pray and chant for at least 20 minutes. It sets my mood for the day. I set aside an hour to do things I love. Other things that I chose to include in the me time was to catch up with a friend, read that book, sit on the balcony, watch a favorite show of the boys, sit and play the games with them or just read through my course material. I began to fit in all those things that I earlier had no time for with such ease that I began to wonder why the heck did I not choose to slow down earlier! It was almost like everything falling right into place so easily.

Practicing Gratitude:

I know it is far easier to complain. That hardly takes any time. But to list down things that make you happy and grateful for, that takes more time than you can imagine. Gratitude is something I have been practicing not so regularly, but when I did that 10 days in a row, I knew I had less to complain and more to enjoy my life. Yes, please know that your life is great! I began to accept that mine was awesome and I began to notice the subtle changes that were making my life easier.

I believe that it is always the start that is the most difficult task to accomplish.

Slowing down is a conscious choice that I made. Trust me, it was not an easy choice, but when I gave it my 80 percent, I realized that I had a greater level of happiness and appreciated even the smallest things in life more.

Try slowing down and enjoying your life. It is addictive.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own

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