Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hold on, slow down

il_fullxfull.282281016Been thinking about how this year has gone by too fast. It seems like the older I get the faster the years pass. Then I got a newsletter emailed to me from a local Yoga instructor (reminding myself that I haven’t been back since and also haven’t stepped foot on my mat in ages!! THANKS!)

“What is the right pace for life?

So often we talk about the pace of life as if it is something that we have no control over; as if there are these evil pace setters that continually mix up the speed just to see us sweat.

We complain when the pace seems too fast: ‘The weekend went so quickly, ‘I can’t believe it’s Friday – where did the week go?’, ‘It’s nearly Christmas again, I don’t know what happened to this year.’ It’s like we are stuck on a treadmill which is going too fast so we battle to keep the pace up for fear of falling off the end.

All through my childhood and teenage years my mother would chastise me for ‘never hurrying’ as if somehow taking my time was a bad thing, but I never understood what the rush or urgency was. And now when she asks me how it is that I never seem stressed the truthful reply is ‘because I never hurry’. For me this is the key.

Start slow so and take regular pauses (even just 10 deep breaths) so that you have time to notice the day unfold around you and then choose how to respond to the tasks you’re presented with and adjust your pace accordingly. This way you are your own pace setter living life at the speed that suits you best.

The pauses are so important as we don’t always get things right and it is in the pauses that we can reflect and then take responsibility for adjusting things if we aren’t happy. If you feel like things have started to speed up again then in the pause you can ask yourself ‘Am I rushing because I’m under stress or am I under stress because I’m rushing?’.

If there is any one indication that life is best lived slowly, it’s that among all of the busyness, racing to fulfil tasks and rushing to complete goals, there is one race that nobody wants to finish first: the race of life itself.

Our culture has a mild obsession with racing — not racing for the sake of sport or simple competition, but racing through many aspects of our lives, so as to fulfil a sense of productivity. In conquering sprawling to-do lists we hope that we will feel accomplished. But “productivity” is a false-comfort and before long, we forget that life itself is about experiencing the journey — not racing to the finish.
So start slow. I’m not saying this will be easy. Especially when you’re running late for work, you have children to pack off to school and a million other things on the to do list. But just for one week give it ago.

Build something into your morning, make it the first thing you do when you get up that forces you slow down. Take 2 minutes longer in the shower to do 4 rounds of 10 long deep breaths, have a walk round your garden before the rest of your house has got up, complete 5 sun salutations, read two pages of a book - what ever it is give it ago!

Every morning that I choose to ‘start slow’, something amazing happens. I am calm, relaxed, and balanced throughout the day. Each moment feels like a gift, and not merely an opportunity to accomplish goals or fulfil tasks. When I start slow, I am naturally more productive and feel more accomplished by the day’s end.”

Right? I can do this. I hope you can too.

 

 

Snail cake toppers – cute. via felttess on Etsy

2 comments:

L.R. said...

This is lovely and a great reminder to savor life a bit more. Thanks! :)

Caroline said...

So lovely I really should stop falling out of bed and on to the bus. I'll try and get up earlier and have a cup of tea and a think. Thanks for reminding ne to slow down :)