What does 'slowing down' actually mean and how can we benefit from it?
We live in a society where we are put under a microscope - we tend to compare ourselves with our peers and we are always held to high standards. If we appear to be busy, it must equal success and happiness. But is that really true? Or perhaps just an illusion we have created?
I find that society will hold us as "lazy" if we are not constantly working and 'on the go'.
What if we were to reverse the two?
I believe that slowing down can actually re-energize us, bring us new perspective, and it just may be, that we would be much more creative and productive as a result.
I vividly remember my transition into American culture. I say this still with gratitude in my heart as I am - and most likely will forever be - an “American” girl. One of the first things I remember making notice of is how fast paced life is… Produce more, make more money, there is always a task ahead of you still waiting to be completed. Having coffee with a friend takes 45 minutes and not 3 hours. This was quite the transition for a European girl who likes to savor all the little joys of life.
But if our minds are always preoccupied with tasks and there is no space for reflection and 'being' - then I believe we will easily fail to listen and to be present in our own lives.
In the process of becoming a coach I have found myself feeling more productive and focused. However, a lot less stressed than previously. This continues to be a joyous process for me as it’s no secret that I can be scattered and easily get distracted.
To me a big part of being coached and coaching others is learning to slow down and be fully present with another human being. Learning to really listen, also to the words unspoken. Just one of the many benefits from coaching in my opinion.
So what can you do to slow down?
Here we can of course talk about meditation, yoga and mindfulness – but how about keeping it simple and connecting to what matters most to you. Let’s connect you to your core values! What do you enjoy? What’s important to you?
Here are a few examples for me:
Freedom - Variety - Connection
I love to travel and take getaways - this always makes me feel connected to all the values I treasure – just as I love to make a change of scenery in my daily life by taking a drive without having a destination, going to dinner in another town or at a new restaurant or spending evenings at the beach. Being outside in nature is also a simple way to connect with my freedom value - it can be as easy as going for a run, taking a walk or doing a guided meditation in my yard. I love hosting dinner parties for friends and having date nights with my husband – both great ways to honor the importance of connection.
I challenge you to set aside time every day to honor some of Your Values:
It can be 20 minutes or two hours. It doesn’t matter much. Taking the time to enjoy the beauty of your life and honoring what’s important to you, that to me, is what’s at the core of slowing down.
I hope that in the process you will begin to feel more energized by tapping into this source – and feel more connected to yourself and your life. Life is not happening to us, but for us.
Love & Light,