Consciously Slowing Down the Pace of Life
A Do it Yourself Post
I was scrolling through the different posts I have written in the past year. Yes, I have been writing for almost a year, I can’t believe that I have over 65 Weekly Blog posts!
And, as we all know, it has been quite an eventful 365 days. I reflected on the writing I did a year ago and realized that “the forced slowing down” we did during the days of the Pandemic are the virtues that I want to keep on my Desk this year.
Eating Meals Together as a Family
Going for Evening Walks through the Neighborhood
Sunday morning Breakfast Surprises
Yoga at Sunrise
Tending to My Garden
Family Adventures in our Backyard
Mind you it’s 7:45 am on a Sunday when I am writing this post. We all know that when the weekdays come, we are thrown curve balls, sometimes 1, sometimes a dozen.
I was recently telling Scott that I have to take mental pictures in my mind of our children because I feel like life is speeding up again too quickly. His response was “Don’t let it speed up.”
Ahh, and that’s the reason why we are a good fit. Those 5 words were profound to me. I am not sure why in our society we feel like we have to pack in 20 activities in a day. But, it is what we are trained to do in the United States.
I was thinking back on all of our adventures this past summer. They were amazing and we were able to travel again. However, I felt a bit like I had to catch up for lost time, and pack in as many things before our summer was over. So, when we sat on the pontoon boat last Wednesday afternoon at Big Bear Lake, the wind lapping at the waves, the spray of the water sprinkling our faces, eating a treat from the Sweet Shop, and the girls giggling as we tried to go fast in the open water, I realized that these are the moments that “consciously slow down the pace of life.”
It was quite simple, water + wind + and some family time. It was fun, it was peaceful, and it was just being together.
I think each one of us can think of a moment when life has felt that good. And I think we owe it to ourselves for our mental health to make a conscious effort to carve in these moments. A week later, the girls are still talking about that afternoon.
I decided to google Simplicity, and I found in the first response “15 speeches on Why Simple is Better” in Ted Talks. I also started to read simplicity quotes. When I scrolled to Number 8, this one spoke to me:
"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures." - Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu was a Chinese philosopher who wrote during 100 BCE. He was proclaiming all those years ago to essentially slow down. It is interesting that over 2,000 years later we are still trying to make meaning of those words.
I know from experience that actions speak louder than words. When I find that I have gone through an experience and then read about a similar situation, I can put context behind those words. Anywhere from potty training children, to cooking a new recipe, to confronting a difficult situation, to teaching a new group of students, I could read all the books and take academic courses on the subject, but until I experience it first hand, I don't really learn the true value of the word.
Simplicity, patience, compassion. How many times have you asked yourself if I should have done things a bit differently? I wish I would have had more time . . . I didn’t know that my friend was going through such a difficult time. . . The words I said I didn’t mean to offend others.
What makes us different from any other species on Earth? This is what immediately came up in my Google Search.
Humans and animals both eat, sleep, think, and communicate. ... However, we have the ability of complex reasoning, our use of complex language, our ability to solve difficult problems, and introspection (this means describing your own thoughts and feelings).
Hmm, it's hard to do those actions. It can be uncomfortable, it can be an eye opener. I wonder if we all slowed down a bit if we would find that life isn’t as difficult as it seems. Prepare yourself, as we venture into our new normal, take some of your insights you learned during the road of Pandemic living and move forward with confidence.