Slow down

“There is more to life than increasing its speed”

- Gandhi

I always have a list of things to do from here to Neptune, or maybe just as far as Mars but either way it’s pretty long.

Yesterday I didn’t want to do any of it I wanted to go slow. I wanted to be like the people I see collecting their children from school who have time to do their housework and bring their children to the park. I wanted to be free from all responsibilities and roles and just be.

So I took it slow. I stopped running from one responsibility to the next. From task to task, from blogger to coach, from mother to sister, from wife to friend. I slowed down.

More Haste, Less Speed

But when I look back at what I achieved yesterday it was no less than I achieve every day. I wrote, I saw a client, I washed, I ironed, I visited my photographer, I hugged my children, I finalized some design work. I commented on other blogs.

So why did it feel slower than most days? It was slower than most days because my mind was slower. My attitude changed. The voice inside my head was quieter, slower and less demanding.

I like Being Me

So I realized I don’t really want to be like those other people who outwardly appear to be calmer than I am and have less to do. They have their own challenges and roles and responsibilities. What I want is to breathe and go slowly. Productivity is not about increasing speed and ticking all the boxes on your task list, Productivity should be about only achieving the necessary to allow you to live a happier more meaningful life.

Smile, breathe and go Slowly

Running won’t help, as Thich Nhat Hanh said “Smile, Breathe and go Slowly, words that Leo from Zenhabits.net has adopted as his philosophy for life. I think there is much merit in these words. A friend of mine attended an event with him last week where he spoke about how we are never ever present. We spend our lives either in the future or the past, always outside our bodies. The only time we are truly present, when we really connect with ourselves is when we take a breath. The breath, our source of life our opportunity to realign ourselves.

So here’s the take away – 7 Ways to Slow Down Today (not tomorrow, today!)

    1. Breathe, take a long deep breathe and connect with who you are
    2. Practice Mindfulness throughout the day. Every time you remember, stop and bring your mind to the present moment. The past is gone the future unsure, all we have is the present moment
    3. Meditate Regularly. Meditation helps slow down the monkey mind, the one who like to jump from past to future to past again!
    4. Try to connect with nature everyday even if it is sitting in your garden for ten minutes. Quietly at peace, at one with yourself and nature the source of all life
    5. Schedule your work and remind yourself you can only do so much. Do what’s essential and don’t sweat the rest
    6. Become more aware of your self-talk, are you pushing yourself unnecessarily? Are you demanding more work from yourself than is required? Listen and talk back
    7. Spend time with the people you love, always make time for your loved ones. This is man’s number one regret, not having spent enough time with those they love

    Smile, breathe and go slowly.

    (Photo credit: Nice and slow via Shutterstock)

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