The Art of slowing down is something not to be disregarded nor underestimated.
Its a challenge. To be slower in the moment, and not rushing through anything! . To be conscious of how we use our body, our breathing, how fast we eat, how much we chew our food, how much we talk, how fast we talk, how well we listen, how fast we do anything, how quickly we move from one focus to another. Do you rush? Or do you do activities with focus, and still have a sense of stillness about you while you do it. Its mindfulness in slow motion. Its grace with less movement and its slow flow.
I remember a few years ago I had this focus on being ” Peacefully Busy” I thought I had it all worked out, I could be as busy as I like, the only rule I had for myself is that I had to be in a state of relaxation and peace all the time. So, If I got stressed or started feeling rushed. I would pull myself back and remind myself that I was supposed to be peaceful and busy. not stressed and busy. It worked well. In fact , it still does. However there is the magic word. ” Still”. To be still you are not moving at all, you are in flow with a totality of non movement,
However to be slow is encompassing all that is great about stillness, whilst still in motion and flow of movement. Being peacefully busy is with a lot of action and achievement. It is busy and it is fast, even if we feel peaceful. Relaxed and slow You are still moving, you are still in action. However to be peacefully relaxed and slower in your actions might be another key to optimal health. Not too slow, you want to be happy and comfortable with the idea.
Are you under an illusion of healthiness? because we feel ok about how fast the rest of the world is and we just join in? Well I am here to tell you today that its not so true. Our body is going to suffer from chronic disease eventually if we keep up the facade of busy, busy, movement, on the go, fast pace, always doing something. yet, we can have a still mind, we can be aware and mindful, we can even be conscious of what we are doing fully in the moment, however are we slow enough? Or are we going too fast? and what are we missing in the process by avoiding slowness, or being so focused on what we are doing and wanting to ” get it done”? slow slow slow… thats my theme today.
The stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are there to support you in this busy culture and they are there to tell you to keep going. They will help you stay stressed, they will help you stay busy. In fact they will call in other stress related hormones such as leptin and create a condition called oxidative stress which is a precursor to diabetes type two, obesity, cardiovascular disease. And, part of the glorious patterning with very busy people is that the daily patterns of lifestyle become effected as you eat faster, eat more processed foods, less complex slow foods. You also exercise less , or you exercise with more intensity which is stressful on joints and on your body. Then you might start to use escape techniques as you subconsciously decide that you are moving too fast, these include alcohol, antidepressants and also external forms of escapism such as always keeping busy and not processing daily activities in your mind , which of course leads to sleep deprivation and also more stress and then you might even end up bad tempered and lack tolerance, compassion and love for yourself and everyone else. Ouch… Now thats what life is like in the fast lane. Oh did I mention the stress on the nervous system and how that is totally compromised when we go to fast all the time. At the end of this blog I list my top herbs for slowing down and I can make you a formula if you like.
lets go to the slow lane and see where we can end up. Imagine not being pressured by any time ines on anything and just taking your own merry time to get done what you want and when you want? You already have this…. you are the only one who makes you go fast…. You are driven by your own internal forces that set the pace of how fast or slow you do something. So… Let go of the narrative that it needs to be fast…. that is an old story and it no longer serves your health on any level. Now the plan will be to take as much time as you need to every day to do what you want. In fact… lets make that a little mantra for this blog ” I now allow myself as much time with ease, grace and focus to do my chosen tasks, I do not need to rush, I release old fast patterns that no longer serve me” write this down somewhere and say it to yourself as you need to. THis will help you remember who is in charge of your slowing down process… yes you!
Slow, ooooh, its a scary word for people who are high achievers and for those who fear loosing their capacity and motivation. To be slow can be considered a weakness of self, especially after you have worked so hard to be fast at what you do. The speed of life comes with ability to do something with skill. So, to tell us all to slow down is telling us that we are not capable. Or are we fast for other reasons? Think about your rationale for the speed you do things at? That can be released too. You do not suffer any set backs by slowing down. In fact to slow down may speed up a whole lot of things for you because you have stepped out of the way of control and are allowing space between lifes little moments to create something truly magical and real. Yes, the idea that to slow down can speed up your life path is a little bit awesome don;t you think?
To slow down is to be in the moment. It is to stop and smell the roses. It is savouring the experience of the now at a slower pace than we are used to. Its a feeling and a direct message that we are appreciating where we are and what we are doing enough to move it to slow motion. It is to watch your step, to be aware of what you are thinking, feeling, doing and being at every moment when you are awake with slowness, not in fast action mode,. It is taking the time to have silence, to have stillness, to have a moment and a breather between so many activities. In fact why don’t we pace our activities to our breathing. That will really slow us down. mm. It doesn;t mean you can’t be in high gear, its high gear with the brakes on. That is the challenge to still do what you want and be what you are while pacing it to a time of something slower than you usually pace it to.
Moving with consciousness, mindfulness, pacing ourselves in what we do so that we feel the energy of the moment, and so that we really do have a connection to the experience of each moment. That is what slowing down is all about. It is about being… not doing…. being the action you take,,,,, being in the time of now and not going elsewhere in your mind, Present place, present time. Yes you are present in your life.
Here are some ideas. to develop slowness today.
1. Stop whatever you are doing every hour and take three deep breathes and look around where you are. THis will create a reminder that you are in the moment and will also allow you to observe yourself and see how fast or slow you feel you are going in the day.
2. develop a meditation practice and use it daily. Although this is not so good for creating slowness, it is great for creating clarity of mind, stillness of mind and emptiness of thought. These all contribute to you being able to then consciously slow down.
3. Literally slow down. Make an effort to slow down yourself in whatever you are thinking, doing or achieving. Literally take those breathes and slow down. Even taking one long deep breathe when you bring your mind to the present moment.
4. Cook slow foods, like caseroles, soups and foods that take time to cook, eat slowly. The Sages say ” sip your food and chew your drinks” The digestive enzymes in your body really rely on you to eat slow and to really chew your food. These digestive enzymes and the body processes of digestion are all written in my book THE WELLNESS ZONE and its a great idea to read this section again and understand how food is digested and assimilated in the body. Then you will be able to see in your mind how beneficial slow cooking and eating can become in your life.
5. Rest up, get out of bed later, do your yoga slower, have a long breakfast, lunch dinner, walk instead of drive if the distance is doable, take a stroll.!
6. Oh, yes follow your breathe. We do this in yoga, you take a deep breathe in and you follow that with the action and then you breathe out with another action.
Good luck. Personally I think its great if we can slow down for the change of seasons as the weather gets cooler and I am practicing the art of slowing down in all I do today. Its my theme.
Here are my top herbs for slowing down.
Adaptogenics, like bacopa moniera ( brahmi) and Withania ( ashwaganda) I also like the ginsengs for this job although they are very adrenal gland supporting and whole body tonics. Holding off on Ginseg is good when you are too fast, wait till you slow down and then take some. Ginsengs are a fast herbal group and can rev you up for more action as they fix the adrenal fatigue.
I love nervines and herbs taht will repair the nervous system and slow you down. Valeriana and chamomile are great for this. Also echinacea, that is a fabulous herb for helping you get cellular energy and balance.
Really I like to mix repairing herbs with relaxing herbs and mentally relaxing herbs too. So that you can slow down on all levels, in mind, body and spirit. I made an awesome blend up earlier in the week which consisted of herbs to help the nervous system, repair adrenal glands and also boost cellular regeneration and energy levels in the centre of the cell which is called the citric acid cycle where we get our real energy from. After all, when we slow down, we will have time to repair ourselves on all levels and then we can really feel boosted and high on energy when we want to use it.
I hope you enjoyed my blog today. I am trying to slow down myself and wanted to share some ideas with you. Please contact me if I can be of assistance.
Sat nam , Blessings Light and Love
Dominique Liv Kamal MHlth Prom/ Bch Hlth Sc/ ND Dip Journ
medicineroom website www.medicineroom.net subscribe to my newsletter at medicineroom web site link on index page. Buy my books and herbal skin balms online too Or come to my free clinics at Eumundi Markets weekly.