Slow Down

I knew this wasn’t going to be a linear process.

I’ve been reading through the book and working on the first chapter. But, I’ve read ahead and one of the chapters is entitled “slow down.” It was a message I think I needed to hear today.

I was rushing from one thing to another today. I was frustrated about all that I had to get done. Tomorrow is both garbage day and the day my cleaning ladies come.  Lots of tidying to be done after the teenager had been home alone all day. Garbage to get out. Work to do.  Busy. Busy. Busy.

That chronic feeling of always being on the go, of not being able to slow down, or feeling that way generates a stress response. That stress response fuels a fight or flight response and puts the alarm system of the brain on full alarm. There is not a feeling of being able to slow down and make good and thoughtful decisions.

In the book it suggests to practice a few things more slowly and to find out what’s good in THIS moment. All of this came rushing back to me as I was putting on the garbage, feeling rushed and busy and frantic. And then I looked up at the sky and saw the half moon and the clouds floating by.  In that moment, I stopped and paused and decided to practice that moment more slowly and focus on the food in that moment.

I had been mindless in the garbage. I paused and watched the clouds floating by. I took the time to appreciate the elegance of the clouds floating. All of a sudden I heard birds in the background, and chattering noises of squirrels. I became aware of the smells in the evening air, some musky, some sour, some sweet.  I heard the cars on the side streets and children in the distance. I paused and listened to the sound of breath moving in and out of my body. I felt the frenetic energy slip away.

I slowed down and finished my tidying feeling less busy and less stressed. Going slow and focusing on the beauty of the night shifted my whole energy of what remained of the night. 

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