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The power of slowing down….

Life at your own pace, rather than everyone else's

We live in such a fast paced world, and it’s getting faster; the latest technology, the latest fashion trend, the new play to see, new band to listen to, destination to visit. It never stops.

That is until you stop.

Stop to take a minute to listen to the birds, the sound of the wind, to look around, to check in on how you are feeling, to check in how a friend is. And it does start by taking a minute. One minute. We’re so caught up with what is happening next, rushing for the next thing that we forget to stop, look, listen and check in.

I used to run at 100 miles an hour, never stopping to check in, to see how I was feeling, to go at a pace I chose. 

I’d be picking up my phone as soon as I woke up to see what I’ve missed, what was in store for me that day. I’d be checking my emails, the weather, what happened with my friends on social media. Getting up, rushing through a morning routine which I’d shortened as much as I could for maximum sleep time before falling into work having battled through rush hour to the million and one things I and everyone else set for me to get done that day at work. Squashing a few tasks I needed to get done at lunch during that one hour slot (if I was lucky) & eating lunch at my desk before continuing or getting more tasks that day until I’d fall out of work at the other end, rushing to get to yoga or a gym class to get a bit of ‘me time’ or to see a friend/show/the latest restaurant before crashing into bed at the end of the day & it starting all over again the next time. We spend so much time on autopilot, trying to keep up with everything and everyone around us. Sound familiar? 

But then all that changed, I started slowing down….and got more time!

Literally I started…

Walking slower, especially when I felt I ‘should’ be rushing or had a lot on. Going to work, in the middle of the day, later on, whenever. It’s got a great calming effect and helps me think clearer. Wow!

Taking a moment to look around, to listen to the birds, enjoy the walk, notice the sky, the stars, look at people’s faces & smile….seeing who smiles back or who’s day you can brighten?

Getting up earlier (yes it sounded counter-productive to me too – I was always so tired) but yes it gives me more me time & energy, it sets me up so I can take on the day, before everyone else’s day comes to me. I make the choices and I am more in control, so much less tiring.

Ignoring my phone for as long as possible, I don’t check my emails straight away, they are other peoples ‘to do’ lists for me. I choose to start with me & when I pick them up & get into action.

Looking out of the window in the morning to check the weather. I love nature, so what better way to start the day but with connecting with the environment?

Checking in with myself and ask ‘how I am’. I literally ask myself & listen for the reply – be it a feeling or an action that comes up, and I still do. Actually I do this several times a day now.

Now as part of my morning I might also journal, writing a few sentences in a lovely notebook about how I was/what I wanted, what my dreams were, and if everything is ok… I meditate and I do some yoga too. Anything to bring me into the present rather than what’s next!

I love getting up earlier now, and I never thought I’d say that. I create more time for me. And I take the day at my own pace.

You know we usually overestimate how much we can get done in a day and underestimate what we get in a lifetime? Maybe we don’t need to rush so much & squeeze it all in today, maybe we can take the day a bit slower, check in and still get everything done?

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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