I’ve realised I’m sick and tired of racing, sick and tired of ‘busy’.
I’m sick of being present for all the things I’m supposed to be doing but being largely absent for myself.
Slow is my new busy.
This realisation has come upon me gradually over the last few months, as I’ve learnt, through meditation, to listen to ‘me’ and – I have to say – I’m feeling the benefits of this new ‘slower’ life.
I appreciate the little things even more now.
Like really appreciate them. Because I now make the time to appreciate the marvel they are.
I even appreciate mundane things. For they’re all part of my reality.
I remember a psychologist telling me, ‘Helen, you have to get to the stage where you’ll enjoy washing up’. Busy Helen was all like, “Yeah….right….” (that’s just never gonna happen). And guess what? Slowed-down Helen now relishes the washing up with gusto, enjoying the simple act of going through the motions (three times a day, seven days a week).
Busy me would have said, “Oh my goodness, 21 times I stand at the sink and wash pots, I could be doing so many other things with this twenty minutes“ (my mind racing, galloping, somehow trying to do my to-do list in my mind, over and over). Slowed-down Helen uses those twenty minutes (which it’s not possible to avoid, after all; the pots pretty much have to be washed) to think, in silence, to just be. To give thanks for the little, but really not so little, wonders of the day.
To rejoice in the good bits of the day and to let go of the not-so-good bits of the day (for there’s always several not-so-good bits).
I like slowed-down me and I’m liking slow.
I’m getting so much more out of life by living slow.
Anything that causes me to take longer than expected to do something, I welcome. With open arms.
Huge queue in the bank? I spy an opportunity to do some quiet reflection. Traffic jam? It’ll give me some extra reading time. Someone hasn’t arrived for the appointment I had with them? I don’t fret. I don’t curse their rudeness. I roll with it. Take the time to imagine or dream or meditate.
It is, I’ve realised, something that my body/mind combo decided for me, as it’s something I desperately needed. Stress is bad for your body, bad for your mind. Just really bad all round. When your body starts telling you you’re stressed, you’ve got to listen. When your mind can’t switch off and you’re awake at 3am more nights than you’re asleep at 3am, you’ve got to listen because something’s not right somewhere.
We only have one body, only have one life.
Is your busy worth the toll it takes on your body and mind?
A resounding no.
So now, once I’d gone on the whole journey that led me to realising this, it suddenly became apparent that slow is, actually, the central axis of my new self-care regime.
I’m going slow because I love myself and want to give myself the best chance possible to a) stay around longer and b) enjoy everything the world has to offer whilst I’m still here and able to enjoy it.
Slow. It’s my new busy.
It’s the key to my new ‘me’.
I’m loving her.
Loving the new perspective on life I’m forging just by living slow.