Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Enjoying a Snail’s Pace

Doing Things Slowly

Life can often feel like it’s zipping by in fast forward. We feel
obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our
productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves
cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of
time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just
to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the
next activity or goal.

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it
allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at
hand. Moving at a slower place lets you get things done more
efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your
relationships. Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate,
and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the
opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go
of the “fast forward” stress, and allow our bodies to
remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully
savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an
uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be
luxuriant and relaxing. A student cramming for a test will often feel
tired and unsure, whereas someone who really absorbs the information
will be more confident and relaxed. Cooking, eating, reading, and
writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. ! Slowing down lets
you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you
eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive.

Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing
around you so you can begin moving at your own pace. The moments we
choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice
rather than an involuntary action. Learning to slow down in our
fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough
to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic
living at this pace can be.

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