Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you. – John De Paola
Doing too much for too long is the perfect recipe for my body to break down. Restless sleep, aching knees and half-circles that hang under each eye are the main ingredients.
After the fatigue takes over is when I hear my inner voice begin to mutter. Softly at first, and then with increasing impatience when I don’t listen, it tells me: Slow down. Stop hurrying. You are doing too much.
Tragedies stumble into our lives like unwelcomed guests. They shock us, and they can break us, but at least we know their names –we know what to call them. And sometimes we even learn how to show them the door.
But it’s often the less obvious things that break us the most because they have a way of arriving without even making a sound. Deadlines, commitments, and never-ending to-do lists sneak up and leave our bodies damaged; our spirits shipwrecked.
So, we trudge on down the road while breaking ourselves in small ways almost every day. We allow ourselves to be driven by behaviors that are destructive. Often we are too focused on doing and less mindful of being – being peaceful and at rest.
Four Ways to Be, Simply Be
The best remedy to the daily breaking is learning how to go a little slower. When the doing too much signs are flashing, try these ways to slow down and be, simply be:
Treat the problem.
Along with taking care of your body, spend time taking care of the other problems like overworking, overstressing and overdoing. Begin by creating a life that has a better balance of work and rest. To do this, learn how to say “No,” when you’ve reach your limit.
Enjoy the right now.
Look to the past to acknowledge the lessons learned and set reasonable goals for the future, and put equal time into savoring exactly what you have right now.
Slowing down is an art, not an science. Just as you put effort into tackling the to-do list, put the same effort into telling your mind to slow down. Practice by doing deep breathing, mediation or prayer.
Acknowledge the truth.
Often times we stay busy because there’s a certain familiarity with having a full plate. Our full plates give us a sense of meaning. But sometimes we keep our plates full because we are afraid of real connections; connections to others and to ourselves. It’s easier to say, “I’m just too busy to deal with that right now,” than finding the courage to be vulnerable and focus on what’s more important.
Sometimes the simple path to slowing down begins when you see your aches and pains as messengers that tell you to hurry less and appreciate more so you can enjoy a healthier life – physically emotionally and spiritually.
My inner voice is growing more impatient lately. Ignoring it isn’t working, so a little change is needed. It’s time to welcome slowing down into my house. I think I’ll let my new guest stay as long as it wants.
What is A Simple Path?
This post is in A Simple Path, a series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Please be sure to check out my book on Amazon: 20 Simple Paths to an Amazing Life.