It gets busy sometimes, more than sometimes, a lot of the time and often we don’t even realise that we are caught up in the busy-ness of doing life.
It’s only when we begin to feel overwhelmed, when our mind is cluttered with the lists of have to dos, when we begin to catch a cold after the flu and then another cold after another flu, then a sore throat, feel more tired, too tired to have fun or you get a little agitated and snap at the slightest thing your partner or child does.
Then suddenly something makes you STOP, ponder and reflect.
You realise that you haven’t played, enjoyed stillness in your mind, slowed down… (to be cliche) to smell the roses.
My dad had many rose bushes when I was a child. Over 50 I think. He knew the names to all and each had it’s own unique fragrance. I only remember Mr Lincoln, deep crimson red with a delicate velvet texture. My dad often stopped and smelled many roses. He’s 93 this year.
The busyness of life
I’ve been having one of those months where my plans to reset a daily routine have frequently been sabotaged by unexpected unplanned priority A events and tasks.
Whilst I’m running around doing things for others, it is very easy to forget about myself!
I used to tell my clients ” you want to be wanted not needed”. Being needed all the time drains me, although it might be nice to be needed, too much can be detrimental to my overall well-being and mental health.
Being aware that my time hasn’t been my own of late, I selfishly embarked a simple activity to revitalise me, invigorate me and encourage me to embrace the slow and take time to refuel my emotional tank.
I started walking, I know lots of people walk and walk regularly, but I don’t (I’m not sure why, possibly because I feel guilty that I’m doing something for me that’s not visibly productive).
So something as simple as walking in the morning with sheets of cold brisk winter air covering the walkways along the coast, is a simple easy to do activity for me to do. And doing it with a good fun loving friend is even better sometimes.
My morning coastal walk grounded me. I have a strong affinity with water (but I’m not a swimmer). The water’s soothing and comforting properties brings with it a sense of tranquility and peace, maybe it brings us back to the womb when our life was simple, warm, protected and nurtured.
The fresh clean coastal air that I breathed in on each step filled my lungs with new energy, new life. Turning my digital life off and allowing myself to be present in my surroundings also helped me embrace the slow.
I don’t walk fast and I don’t walk to get my heat rate up because that’s what the fitness experts and our FitBit tells us to do. For me walking is about :
- slowing down,
- listening and hearing the sounds in the distance and the sounds right behind me,
- smelling the freshness of the air or a morning brewed Brazilian coffee in a take away cup being carried by the man who just left the local coffee shop.
- It’s about enjoying the cuteness of the toddler on her tricycle racing ahead of her mum pushing the pram of the toddler’s sleeping baby brother,
- it’s about the little dog pulling on the lead desperate for the next smell fix that he instinctively needs,
- it’s about that elderly couple walking hand in hand for their 50th year together,
- it’s about seeing men fish off the jetty wondering to myself if they’ve caught anything or whether they care at all about catching anything because fishing isn’t just about catching fish.
It’s about allowing my mind and all my sense to wander freely on my morning coastal walk.
How do you like to embrace the slow?