On Slowing Down

journal mindfulness serafina slowing down May 31, 2023

Is your life fast paced or do you take time to slow down? While working at my office job I didn’t even know. I didn’t think I was living fast paced. That was until I lost my job.

I’m outside three times a day walking my dog. What I hadn’t noticed was that I was speed walking my dog. It was another item to get done during the day. I always knew which route I was going to take and I walked it fast paced. “The dog must be exercised, and I must be exercised, and I have to be home again fast.” That was the usual thought. And it didn’t matter if I went on a 10 minute walk around the block or a 1 1/2 hour walk down to the river. I just had to go, go, go.

Briefly after losing my job I read Wild Magic: Celtic Folk Traditions for the Solitary Practitioner by Danu Forest. It was about going outside and really seeing and experiencing nature. Connecting with it. Finding special places to be in. That part of the book really struck a chord with me. It wasn’t easy to let go of the speed walking, but Genie (my dog) and I decided to try it out. We put on our explorer caps and experience the outdoors in a different way.

We tried out meandering, taking our time to look at the trees and the flowers, the grass and the small stream nearby. I touched, and smelled, and took it all in. What a different feeling. It was then, that I realised how fast I had been going previously. Now, my body had time to relax. It felt like I could finally breathe. And so our walks became a lot more enjoyable. Sometimes Genie and I even stop along our walks these days. I’ll follow her gaze and often spot a bird or a squirrel somewhere high up in the trees. It brings a smile to my face.

Knowing the difference between fast and slow and being aware which mode I am in has helped me tremendously. It has helped me destress. It has helped me be in the moment. It has helped me see more. It has helped me enjoy more. It has helped me be relaxed.

This mini revelation, which started with walking, has spread into other areas of my life. Sometimes I empty the dish washer more slowly. Or hang the laundry more thoughtfully, sprinkling in some Marie Kondo and expressing gratitude for my clothing. I de-rush my driving, which is a simple mental shift. These activities barely take more time than before. Maybe mere minutes, but it makes such a big difference.

Sometimes I still catch myself in the go, go, go mode. And sometimes it’s ok to be in that mode. It’s just important to know the difference and to be able to let go.

What task or experience can you slow down today? I challenge you to give it a try. :-)


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