I was recently reminded of the need to slow down. It's something I think about a lot, my days are full, teaching yoga, planning classes, playing golf, hanging out with Jay and the cats, etc., etc. how can I slow down? Do I need to slow down? Am I missing something by keeping so busy, moving through life without necessary pauses?
Since I was given this kind reminder, yes, by a very nice young man in a uniform, I realized that I have been speeding through my life the past few months. (The aforementioned reminder was a warning, free of charge). I do need to slow down and I know how to do it. Clear the calendar, drive the speed limit and take notice of my surroundings. I don't have to listen to every interesting podcast or read every intriguing article about yoga and anatomy. I'm going to try a technique a friend of mine uses when reading articles and news, quickly skim the words, landing on just the ones that stand out and write them down. Then review them to see what seems important for that day. Our minds work in funny ways, I bet if I were to do this with the same articles a week apart, different words might stand out.
This practice reminds me of a writing technique called stream of consciousness writing. This is where you sit down and write whatever thoughts come in to your brain. Write them down, they don't have to make sense or be grammatically correct. It's just what you're thinking about in the moment, to try and get into the habit of writing everyday. It also helps to get ideas flowing for creating stories, to just get the words on the page and see where my mind takes them.
In my recent efforts to slow down I have been able to accomplish things on my list to ready myself for my departure from Green Valley for the summer. I was able to fix my sewing machine by taking time to see what had happened to it. My usual instinct is to get really upset, stomp around angrily for awhile, eat something and find someway to fix it, immediately. I calmly cleaned up my work area, put away projects and thought I’ll deal with it in the fall, I’m not going to need it until then. But the next day, I had some time so I sat down in front of it, in the clean work area and methodically went through rethreading the needle, the bobbin, removing the bobbin and the bobbin carrier and what did I find? A missing screw. I thought it was lost for sure, but it happened to have fallen into the tool compartment the last time I had it apart to clean all the lint out. I got the appropriate screwdriver, replaced the screw, but everything back together and tested it on a scrap of fabric and it worked! I was so happy and it was because I was able to take a pause, by slowing down.
I have also had the extreme pleasure of seeing many beautiful cactus blooming. Instead of racing by on my bicycle in a hurry to get nowhere, as I caught a glimpse of color flashing by, I would stop and turn around to admire what the cacti are offering. Seeing the many lizards out this time of year, a big gila monster in my yard, the birds on their migratory paths and so many things nature has to offer.
I hope you can find a way to take a pause in your life, slowing down to rest your body and your mind. When you do this you actually have more energy to return to the busy-ness of your life.