Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Deep breaths. Slow down.

My Mary Engelbreit calendar page for last Saturday/Sunday featured a delightful picture of a child on his back in the grass smelling a flower and watching fluffy clouds float by. Ah, it just slowed down my heartbeat to stare at that for a while. The words accompanying the photo, attributed to philosopher and writer Bertrand Russell, were: "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

Indeed. While we know in our heads that time to just be (rather than to do) isn't wasted, we still may not feel that in our guts, in our hearts. Is it really OK to just sit and ponder? To just stare at a tree or the clouds? It may be OK for a child (I remember doing that as a little girl) to lie on her back and stare at the clouds. But I'm grown up now and should be productive.

But did you know there's a whole global movement dedicated to slowing down? It's actually called The Slow Movement. It's a response to the deep desire of people to reverse the trend of a frantic, chaotic lifestyle. It addresses the issue of "time poverty" that so many face today. This movement is about re-connecting, with ourselves, our families and each other, with life. It's about rest and renewal.

We don't have to be part of a movement to find incremental steps to address the time poverty in our own lives. If you are worn out from running so fast and want to change your lifestyle, why not come up with three or four things you can do to slow it down? Might you say "No" to some obligations that don't feed you? Are there some unnecessary things you can drop from your schedule or to-do list? Or if you're really desperate for change, is there even something major you want to change right now?

I'd love to hear in the Comment box below if you've already made changes in this regard. The rest of us need ideas and encouragement. Thanks, if you're willing to share.

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