Today, I felt something. To be precise, I had put my feet up on the window, leaned back in a deep chair sipping through a glass of chocolate milkshake and sat in the afternoon sunshine for a while, accomplishing absolutely nothing.
I was Still. Feeling light. And it got me thinking.
I have always disliked being stagnant and in the stillness of a monotonous life. Typically, being a modern woman, I tend to pride myself on how much I accomplish in a day. So, stepping away from productivity is a risk for me as though I must prove the worth of my existence by never slowing down to a PAUSE. And yet, I long for peace and rest. Probably that’s when the occasional indulgence with a piece of Chocolate or an extra creamy Yogurt happens.
Another reason for disliking stillness is the fact that if I slow down, I may need to really listen to the spirit, body, soul, mind and etc. I might not like to have a dialogue with it. Or if I sat down to listen to the voice of God and hypothetically sit with Him in the vulnerability of who I really am, what might He say to me? And so, it is safer to fill my schedule with more work, more music, more accomplishments than to slow down and be still.
But what if I ran the fastest to fit in? Became the most efficient person, got the best I could afford, and achieved the utmost potential in every realm? Maybe – doing MORE and faster won’t actually get me where I want to be..
I have come to believe that if we truly want to live life – Creating space for Stillness is Crucial. But looking at myself and around at our society, it seems we have forgotten the value in rest, condemning them instead as laziness, self-indulgence or worthlessness. We don’t know how to just be with ourselves. How can we offer much to others and this world if we aren’t even connected to our own selves?
Here are a few ideas I have been implementing lately, during my experiment in living more slowly and steadily:
1. Do something the slow way – It is far more convenient to buy a cake from the store but sometimes I like to take a few hours to bake it, kneading it by hand, letting it fill our house with its scent and then eating it while still warm from the oven. Whether it’s baking a cake, washing dishes by hand or driving the scenic route – Allow yourself to choose the slow way sometimes if it is more enjoyable and meditative for you.
2. Spend time just being with your child or pet – Ponder the simple wonder of a little one, pet your dog or cat for a few minutes, take a nap with your child. If you don’t have a child or pet at home, observe the birds outside your window. The little ones have much to teach us.
3. Go for a jog and don’t carry your iPod – Enjoy and feel the breeze, smell the air, leaves and admire the nature.
4. If you are driving, leave your car radio off on your next drive. Is the silence uncomfortable for you? That’s okay, don’t try to fill it.
I offer these ideas. But I would love to hear from you.
So Being-Slow is a IN thing. Just Enjoy and don’t pace it.
In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
– Deepak Chopra