Does it drive you a little crazy when people tell you to slow down?
It used to drive me absolutely nuts! There are only so many hours in the day, and my mantra was time is money on this job. I used to scoff at those that couldn’t multi-task or shift quickly between tasks.
Oh how life laughs! I am pretty sure that at some point it looked at me and thought, silly girl, watch this!
Learning to slow down (insert eye-roll here)
This brings me to the third and fourth anchor on my spiritual path, mindful living (slowing down + one-pointed attention). When we hurry we create tension, insecurity, inefficiency (I would never have believed this prior to being cosmically cuffed up back of the head) and superficial living.
I used to wake up with my mind already flying through my list of tasks to be done. I would begin on the fly with my heart rate going up and tension in my body. I wasn’t even aware of it, it simply was my existence. Most days I would go to bed worrying whether I had done enough, or if what I had done was right. This would all bring on the gifts of tension headaches and a stiff aching body. Sound familiar? I would cram more and more into my days trying to feel better about how much I was accomplishing, and in all honesty, it looked like I was accomplishing a lot! I had a successful career but was often not really present.
After my brain injury I had no choice but to slow down. As a matter of fact, if I even tried to speed up or push my entire brain and nervous system would go off line – this still happens if I don’t pay attention.
This is a tool I am still working on every day to get better at. I have never really been kind to myself, constantly pushing to be better and putting others and stuff ahead of my own needs. To guard against these habitual patterns I work to start my day mindfully.
What does mindful living really mean?
It means being mindful of each and every thing, being present. When you brush your teeth, notice the experience, what does it feel like to start on the other side? When you eat, only eat. Taste and notice the texture of your food, the sensations of chewing and swallowing. When someone is talking, listen. Make eye contact and listen to what they are trying to convey, the silence between their words. Breathe. When you walk, feel your feet and the muscles you are using. Start where you are, again and again.
When you find yourself speeding up or slipping into an old habitual pattern, use your mantra to help slow down and recenter.
Slowing down is not slothfulness, it is being present and mindful. What if we never again had to say, Sorry, I didn’t mean to or I didn’t intend to.
What if we lived intentionally instead? #lifegoals
It is little steps accumulating day after day that propels us toward our goals. These steps help us deepen concentration and unify consciousness. They are supportive in our efforts of meditation, much like bringing meditation into our day.
What can you do intentionally, mindfully today?
Brightest of blessings,