“Sometimes I think there are only two instructions we need to follow to develop and deepen our spiritual life: slow down and let go.” ― Oriah Mountain Dreamer
So, what of doing a little less – a little more often? Sounds a little bizarre, but it isn’t really. We are all so conditioned to be on the go constantly – “achieve, achieve, achieve”, but how often are we actually just busy instead of productive - If we really analyse it, probably more frequently than we care to admit. And what use is that to us in the long run? – Not much.
I have noticed a dramatic shift in myself over the last several months and have found that instead of pushing myself to often completely unrealistic points of “self-demand”, I have begun to listen to my mind and body more. Every single day will carry its own uniqueness and whilst on Monday you may feel ready to burst out of the gate like a race horse, with ideas and inspiration a mile a minute – this does not mean that you will feel the same on Tuesday and instead of ignoring and resisting those “mood signals”, ultimately making ourselves frustrated because we are left with no choice BUT to acknowledge that we do NOT feel the same way as we did the day prior – rather embrace that reality and slow down! Do less! Contemplate for a moment that by doing less or by simplifying a couple of days in your week is not indicative of any less productivity or adequacy.
We are not machines and can simply not operate in a state of high speed, repetitive production endlessly. In fact - no matter who you are or how invincible you “think” you may be… you are not and fooling yourself with this perspective generally does not end well, but looking at it from a day to day, you actually achieve a lot less, yet will feel ten times as tethered.
Taking time to slow down is absolutely vital. Something I have not always acknowledged, in fact the opposite. I have discovered that I do not have to beat myself up internally when I don’t get to everything I had intended to for the day. I have learnt that there are also going to be days of complete “nothingness” if you will – times when I allow myself to just “BE” – because I accept that this is all I can manage for that particular day. It is never a day wasted though – there is always plenty inspiration, clarity and re-grouping of self which comes from being a little more still.
“And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn't come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself. For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.” ― Alexandra Potter
It is important you know… smelling the coffee, or the roses – whichever you prefer… really enjoyable too. It brings us completely into the present - a place in which we all spend far too little time. We are constantly doing something “now” for just now or handling five different things at once – none of which are for the “present”… then we look again and the entire day or even week is gone, we are exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. This is no way to live, no matter what circumstance or career you are in and is also never an excuse. Taking time to pause or move a little slower through your day is an integral part of remaining “whole”. It is a facet of healing as well as growth.
“My new deliberate and slower pace has created a higher quality in my experiences.” ― Lisa J. Shultz
Until next time...
Much Love from Cape Town, South Africa xxx
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