Slow Down!

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."  - Gandhi

This time of year, perhaps more than any other, we need to slow down.

Who doesn't feel as if there aren't enough hours in the day? We rush around and end up exhausted and depleted. Our days are full of duties, obligations and busyness that have become our lives. This time of year especially, we work hard to get our outer world in seeming perfect order, finding the "perfect" gifts, decorating in "just" the right way, crossing things off our to-do lists as if completing the list itself is the ultimate goal.

The truth is, life on Earth is a brief gift, and our time is too precious to be used like this. If we want our lives to be balanced and healthy, we need to lessen our load and increase our down time, not only for the sake of our bodies, but for the sake of trying to nurture our inner selves, our souls. This means planning less in a day, prioritizing those things that make our hearts sing and de-prioritizing those things that are not imperative.

If we must accomplish many things each day, we can still change the quality with which we do things. How can we transmute that sprint to catch the bus into something delicious instead of the usual gripping and tightening experience? Where can we find ease in the midst of stress? How can we cultivate the art of going slowly?

Take a few moments before you climb out of bed in the morning to remember your dreams and to think about what you want from the day. Take several deep breaths. Leave your watch on the bedside table. Take the scenic route. Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. Check email only twice a day. Don’t pack your schedule so tightly that there’s no time for a short walk or an activity you enjoy. Light candles before you start to cook dinner. Add one moment here and there for slowness; it can be done simply and will have a profound effect on your well-being.

Take care and remember to slow down. Peace to you!