In today’s world, everyday we are running , sometimes kids are getting late for school, then their homework, then packing lunch. Similarly, a person working in office rushes every morning to his workplace, in office he’s rushing to finish his work , while coming home he’s rushing to grocery stores, or to beat traffic. And in life , we are rushing to be ahead of all family and friends. But the life we are living is a running race to nowhere. We get so tired both physically and mentally because of so many things going in our minds and by physically running around.
Our life is temporary, like a water bubble. We all are living today’s life as if we are going to stay on mother Earth forever. Each day of our life is just a path to our final journey with Eternity. But why we live in delusion of staying on Earth for ever. If we say, we know this truth and thats why we are finishing all work that is assigned to us. But, the only work assigned to us all is to stay joyful , happy and content. We are doing all expect just being ourselves.Most of the people are stuck stuck either in past and or future. I was like this too, till I started realizing beauty of slowing down in life.
When we slow down and look at same things that we have been looking for long, we may find great difference. We start appreciating the things and look at God as a great painter, who has painted such a beautiful Earth. We can feel our inhales and exhales, can feel the life in our body, can see the green color of plants , blue ocean, we start living and feeling the deep sense in all things, living or non living. We find beauty in silence rather than in words, in nature. We start feeling more rather than doing more. We start behaving like Human beings, because earlier we were only Doings. What earlier felt heavy, burden, remorse, sadness now appears light, joy and happiness.
For some people there is misconception that slowing down leads to boredom. What is boredom? I would say it is disease which has engulfed most of the world. Why parents want to keep their kids busy all the time, to utilize their energies otherwise they may get bored. People these days work more , to keep themselves busy, otherwise they will be bored. We keep checking social networking sites or our emails all the time, just to kill our boredom.
Actually , we are bored when we waste too much energy in doing things or activities , we don’t want to do. In reality, we want to do something we love, we desire from heart, may be that is not feasible, and than we get bored. I was bored till I reached mid twenties. I was doing everything in outside world, yet I was bored, because I never knew what I really liked doing. I was not connected to my inner being. A person who is in perfect company of himself and his passion, is never bored. Boredom is not because of surroundings, people or events actually we our bored of own company. We do not enjoy our own company , so we keep running till we are tired. Boredom is running from ourselves and get ourselves diverted so much, till we can call that diversion “busy”. Boredom may leads to busyness in material world, and to fulfilling our external wants. In this process we loose our energies, ourselves and have no capacity to help others. A real person who is helping others, living his life purpose, will always be available for others happiness and sorrows , despite been really busy. These people have time and energy for everything in life, because they are doing what they enjoy and love.
When to Slow down in Life:
1) Slow down when our To do list increases:
Sometimes our life becomes a to do list for ourselves, and for others around us. I personally made my to do list. To my shock, when I tried to finish this list, it became longer, because wants and desires never finish. This resulted in restlessness, and uneasiness in life. It does not mean we should stay idle and can call it slowing down. There is balance in life. Either we want to relax all day, or work all day. When we really find balance in life, he won’t even need vacation to refresh ourselves, we will be refreshed all the time.
We need to have regular check on our daily Todo list and To do list of life.But, when we find ourselves and our mind just engulfed in this only, we need to slow down and reconnect to ourselves.
We should always keep some part of our day, for ourselves; depending on our work how much we can afford and how much time we need to tune to ourselves. Suppose we are merged in responsibilities and don’t know how to tune within ourselves or slow down.
Simply stay still in that present moment, observe your inhales and exhales, drop our list, and do nothing for sometime.
2)Slow down when we get triggers
Slowing down does not mean just in physical outside world, we even need to slow down from within ourselves.
Slow down when we get initial traces of anger, irritation, or any negative feeling. Suppose , we ignore these feelings, and keep blaming others, a day will come when we won’t be able handle these feelings anymore. We will feel broken and tired from within, if we keep living life by ignoring ourselves.
Realize everything happens for a reason, and it’s wise to understand these negative emotions are just kind of signal that we need to start our inner journey. If we don’t listen to these feelings early, then we may move on a wrong path. Path is wrong when it does not lead to joy and peace despite material success.
When we slow down and enjoy tiny gifts of life, we are charging ourselves in the right direction. We must use our energies in right direction rather than in thinking , grumbling, complaining. Never waste energies in any negative feeling. But what if by slowing down, our mind runs after all the pending works, insecurities, pain areas. So, we may prefer to keep ourselves busy, to keep our mind diverted from the tensions and negative feelings, and keep running from ourselves. This may seem correct till we have energy to push ourselves, which wont last for long. We can happily spend all earned money to cure ourself. How wise is this? So, Love yourself, because you deserve it.
If we don’t know what to do, start my sitting with eyes close, for 10 minutes everyday and just observe your thoughts. Please do not hang on to your thoughts and travel with them.
Go out in Nature , and appreciate at least one thing that you have ignored earlier. Nature is the best healer.
3)Slow down in our Wants and our Tradeoffs in Life
We should try to put ceiling on our wants and desires. All our desires are unlimited. I always found my friends complaining ,that they want more money as they earn so little. At that point, I thought, if I had that much I would never complain. But I landed in their bracket of earning and found myself complaining. It is true for most of us, because we want more for ourselves and and our families. Keep in mind, prices will rise, society will put pressure, our comfort levels will increase and hence our lifestyle will always change. But, we have to find a right focus and balance two worlds(inner and outside). We could live really well in both worlds, if we can learn the art of managing in little less in outside world. We generally loose ourselves, when we run after maintaining social status and pleasing others. Time comes when we are jealous of people who have less but are happy.
We all need to slow down in life to find our proper balance between our material wants and Joy. Nothing comes for free. Your joy can be the cost of your materialistic success. Find your tradeoff and do your tradeoffs very wisely in life. We generally Trade off anything for Power, Money, Success. We think this trade off is fair. It may be fair for some , according to their capacity and wants but not for all. We should do our own tradeoff, never follow others or their journey even in tradeoff.
Try to find joy in viewing humming bird, feeling the breeze, viewing the ocean, watching squirrels playing on trees. But we miss these so much these days just to catch up and compensate our material success for these.
4) Slow down to catch up with our inner self
Remember that we don’t need to be perfect in external life all the time. It’s okay to be late, it’s okay to catch on things we love to do. It is fine not be people pleaser, at our own cost. Sometimes, we keep on pushing ourselves a lot. We spend our whole lives proving ourselves innocent and right, not to a judge in court, but to people around us. We must prove ourselves to just ourselves, that is our conscientious.
If our conscientious is clear, we will be happy and joyful from within. But there is difference between clear conscientious and conscientious lost, so be honest . If your conscientious is lost, you will be irritated, lifeless person to whom life is not a joy but a burden. In some cases people yell to say we are right to others. Be gentle to them, as they are lost souls. There time has not yet come to start there journey within. If possible, give them lots of love because they need the most.
5)Slow down to find True Purpose and Goal
Most of us live life as is desired by others. First Study, then get a job , marry, have kids, and retire. We don’t question anything as we are programmed to follow the crowd. Which is fine, as long as we are fine and happy.
But our real purpose is to find what we love to do and then live a life fulfilling that purpose.We all need to slow down to do the things we really love, that will connect us to our true self. If we don’t know, just stay open to trying new things and we will find one. I never knew Yoga will become my life, when I landed in Yoga class by accident. Similarly, I never knew about my writing hobby, till I started writing, to just pen down my feeling. Only time when I really feel great , pure and joyful is when I am doing Yoga or writing. I had days, when I was just living without realizing my breath, my passion and purpose.
6)Slow down when we are in Rat Race
Learn from others, may be acquire there good habits, but never ever follow Masses. I live in Silicon Valley, it is hard not to be part of this rat race. If you are not part of this race, you are odd man out. We have peer pressure , family pressure, even as parents sometime we encounter pressure. Pressure of which coding class your kid is going too, what are your plans for kids future, how much are you saving for them, and so on. By these pressures, we start following others, assuming they will lead us. I still do this sometime, not often. Then I remind myself – I have to slow down and find my path, as I am unique being.
7) Slow down to raise our frequency and attract good.
We all want good in life, but we attract our tribe and life by our vibe. For that , first of all we have to find at what frequency our stations are loud and clear, without any disturbances. Just like when we listen to radio or Fm channels we tune them to right then left , till we get the perfect station that we want. Similarly , we have to go and find our perfect tune from this Universe.
Let’s all find our Tune- I found my tune in listening to music(carols or bhajans) and reading books, that helped me to grow in my journey. I tune myself back, whenever I feel low, angry or any negative feelings. We should take some time to do things that help us to connect. But , my friend said she get tuned by drinking alcohol or by smoking. This is the biggest lie, because these don’t have any frequency and they will or would destroy your frequencies too. These are external pleasures of senses, not tuning. Please don’t be mislead by wrong pleasures as Tuning. If we mislead ourselves and the day when we really want to Tune within, we will get no music, no melody, no peace , no contentment, and no joy of being. In short we won’t be receiving any signals.
8) Slow down to arouse feelings of empathy and compassion for others
If we want empathy, compassion and love all the time and don’t have time or capacity to give to others, then we are not harming others but ourselves.
A real being is able t understand others pain, comforts them, treat them as human in all situations. If we treat someone nice, till they are fulfilling our wishes and treat them really bad afterwards, if shows a lot about ourselves. We need to find time to put ourselves in others shoes and understand them, instead of just criticizing them. Compassion and empathy are the basic qualities for being joyful. We should do this for our happiness, not as a favor to others.
Let’s create a happy and joyful life by just slowing a little.