Life is busy. We all have schedules and to-do lists that don’t seem to ever quite get completed. Whenever a tragedy strikes, especially a public one like Robin Williams’ death, I always find myself re-setting and making additional efforts to appreciate what I have. Slowing down allows us to see more of what is around us and even stop to (literally!) smell the roses. I found a few things work for me and a few others are just not my style. Here are some tips you can try to jump off the hamster wheel of life.
One of the first things I encourage every single person to do is simply unplug. You have the control over how much time you spend online and you have the ability to shut it off. When we limit our online time, it becomes a tool or a treat rather than a constant presence. There was truly nothing wrong with the days of answering machines and returned calls 2,4 or even 10 hours later.
Take a walk without a direction or purpose. Ideally you will do this somewhere in the woods. The Lincoln/Woodstock area is filled with trails and woods to explore and just a short drive North or East opens up hundreds of miles more. Just getting out and experiencing the natural world is liberating and rejuvenating at the same time. Leave your phone, camera, etc. in the car and just explore. You most likely loved doing this as a kid, so why not enjoy it as a free-thinking adult.
Be quiet. If possible, try to go a full 24 hours without speaking. An alternative to this is to simply incorporate the rule that you won’t talk about any person (present or not) without them being in the room. These are both great exercises simply to make us more aware of our speech patterns and habits. They are both very challenging, but worth the education.
Grow something. The satisfaction gleaned from growing something, a full garden or a simple plant, is a great way to slow down and create life. If you head down the “garden” route, you’ll be creating something practical as well. I’m fairly certain, once you get started on this, you’ll get the “bug” and will be itching to get back in the garden next spring. Gardening also tends to slow us down and make us appreciate the process.
Lastly, just take the time to breathe. It is an important part of the yoga experience as well as the massage. Breathing deeply is something we just don’t do anymore. Our breaths are typically rushed and shallow. Slow yourself down and really appreciate the life-giving breath we all can experience with slow, deep and purposeful breaths.