Slow down. Press pause. Take a breath.
This is what we want. To get off the merry-go-round of work, responsibility, commitments and tasks for a moment. Just long enough to take a breath and recalibrate.
Surely, there must be a way to create time to stop, rest and soak in the moment?
And the answer – as I have come to understand – is yes, there is a way. And it is simple.
Simple, but not easy. Because:
- There will always be work to do.
- There will always be laundry to fold.
- There will always be phone calls to make.
- There will always be people to help.
- There will always be appointments to attend.
- There will always be expectations on our shoulders.
Those things don’t change. That’s called life.
So when faced with the tension between a desire (I want to slow down, to press pause and soak in the moment right now) and a perceived requirement (but I need to sweep the floor, attend a meeting, fill out this form) what do we do?
We stop anyway.
There is no secret to slowing down other than to just… stop.
You have to make the decision to press pause for yourself. Let go of the expectations. Give yourself permission to stop, even though it may not be a perfect time to do so. Because there never is a perfect time.
We will always have something else to do or somewhere else to be.
Choose to stop anyway.
The truth is, it doesn’t take much time. You could:
- Take ten deep, slow breaths. Breath in, count slowly to five. Hold for five. Out for five.
- Spend two minutes sitting quietly, carefully taking stock of each of your senses.
- Go outside and stare at the clouds.
- Bend down and get your hands in the dirt. Plant something. Water something. Revel in the vitality of being.
- Make a list of things you are grateful for.
- Write a poem. Draw a picture. Create, with no agenda in mind.
- Have a nap in the middle of the day. Just because.
So the secret to slowing down is simply to slow down.
It is that simple. And that difficult.