Influenced by the surroundings, where products and services are delivered at our doorstep at the most convenient time, an environment of impatience has grown throughout the world. The outside world is constantly picturing that results should be quickly achieved. If you are slow, if you are taking time, you can’t succeed. This has created an urge to look and opt only for the options that provide ‘instant gratification’ (i.e. the quickest benefit).
We are often taught in schools and colleges about being the best, being the first or being the quickest, but did they ever teach us about being slow?
Not sure about yours, but they didn’t teach me at my school.
They say that “Life is a race and you have to just keep running”. Well nobody knows where they’re headed to? Even before one destination is reached, they’re ready to run for the next one. And when at the end they realize that the running really took them nowhere, they wish they’d enjoyed the journey a little more.
Just so that you don’t miss the fun of your journey, we are going to talk about the ‘art of getting slow’ and why is it important in life.
What is “Art of getting slow”?
It is an art which teaches us to enjoy the journey of life by developing a sense of what you are doing and why are you doing it. When we slow down we get a chance to pay attention to what we’re doing. And as soon as we start paying attention, a question will arise, “Why am I doing this?” This kind of questions does not arise when we carry out our activities at the speed of light. We act almost like a machine in those moments. Almost 95% of our activities are carried out unconsciously. Can you even imagine that? The body movements, the emotions we express, the decisions we make, the thoughts we have. Only 5% of them are done consciously. If we learn to slow down and observe what is going on, we can become conscious of what we are doing with our lives.
When we reflect on such questions we get a chance to assess the direction of our life. Whether the actions we are taking are in sync with the overall vision of our life. When we slow down, we acknowledge the moment that is going on, and that acknowledgment gives us a chance to experience it.
Remember that time when you kept that thing at a specific place and then forgot where you kept it? Or maybe you switched off that fan and still went to check again whether you did it or not? Why do these things happen? We do it and we still don’t remember it. It is because we are doing it without paying attention to it. It is just another mechanical process that our body carries out.
Slowing down is not letting the race of thoughts that are going on in our mind control us, but rather having the control to focus on whatever we ‘choose’ to.
Impact of getting slow
We get proper knowledge of where we are standing in our lives right now.
When you start getting slow, you will start paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, and actions. You will very well be aware of the fears that control you, the things that trigger you, the addictions that behold you, the daily routine that you live, how are you utilizing your time, what kind of people you spend your time with, what is important for you in life, whether you listen to yourself or always follow other peoples instructions and many other things will surface slowly as you start to slow down and experience every moment.
This might result in a rollercoaster ride because you will become aware of what your thoughts and emotions are and you might also distance from some activities and people. This all can be a big shift in your life, but it is for your own good.
Once you begin the process of slowing down, you might notice that the actions & relationships that were so important for you till this point of time were not of any essence and certain actions and relationships that you were ignoring were the ones that your soul needed the most.
What stops us from getting slow?
Fear of Lagging behind
The pressure of being a quick achiever (a.k.a. smart person) and matching up to the expectations of people we are surrounded with abstains us from slowing down. We feel that if we slow down a little bit, people will go ahead of us, leaving us behind. The fear of missing out (FOMO) plays its role and makes us the part of the on-going rat race.
Fear of being talked about
Criticism & sarcasm come as a by-product when a person chooses to walk a path that is different from the usual one. The usual pattern is to keep running until you die. In such a scenario, when you chose to slow down and enjoy your journey, you become an apple in a basket of mangoes. A person who can’t deal with such comments in a constructive manner will face a tough time while on their journey, and sometimes may not even choose to walk on that path.
Lack of Self-worth
It has become a habit to depend on external validation to feel worthy. Whenever we drift away from the routine way of life, the external validation that used to make us feel worthy goes away. Nobody praises & appreciates you for being slow in life (Yes, there will be people who praise you, but quite rare). In such a situation, if our self-worth is totally dependent on something external it will create a problem. The self-worth should be based on what we are doing, who we are and what we think about ourselves. We need to be much confident about ourselves and trust in what we are doing with our life.
What to do to slow down?
- Speak on purpose: – Speaking only when required is one of the best ways to start getting slow. When you don’t speak unnecessarily you are giving yourself the time to listen to yourself and observe your actions. If what you are going to speak passes these three filters than only chose to speak. (a)Is it necessary? (b) Is it helpful? (c) Is it polite?
- Breath on purpose: – Remember those times when you had to wait for a person or a bus or a train or a flight? You looked at your watch for a million times and still, the time didn’t fly? Well, I have an idea about what you can do with that time. Whenever, you end up in a situation where you have to wait, breath on purpose. Just start breathing real deep. You don’t have to sit in a specific position or close your eyes. Wherever you are, just breathe deeply.
- Write on purpose: – Writing a journal is the best way to track the progress of your life. When you write daily, you will get an idea of what has happened throughout the day. Just like companies have minutes of the meetings, the brief of your day will be in front of your eyes. It will help you get a better chance to evaluate where you stand and how you can go ahead with your life on a daily basis.
We are human “BEINGS”, we have the ability to consciously experience. Then why spend our lives like a machine and keep doing things in a monotonous & mechanical way. Slow down and observe what you are doing and fill every action of yours with a meaningful purpose.
“Live life for a reason, with a vision”
MAY GOD BLESS YOU! ♥
Photo by Nick Abrams on Unsplash