Easy Does It

31 Jul

Rushing causes so many problems, doesn't it?  Sometimes today we don't even realize that our normal is 'going too fast'.  It makes sense, given unless we become the 'alpha and omega' of our own lives, we are easily lulled and rewarded into the 'need for speed'.

Yes, speed often 'feels good' and 'gets results' but rushing is also sometimes wasteful, as I was reminded today returning from the cell phone store after dropping my less than a year old cell phone and destroying it.  Yes, it was an 'accident' but really, if I'm fully honest, I realize I was 'playing too fast and loose' with that thing!

One of the wonderful parts of being a therapist for me is both learning and teaching the art of slow living.  The topic started to be more important to me when I hit my proverbial 'runner's wall'.  Don't laugh, mastering this art isn't easy or for the 'faint of heart'.

If you need 'proof' on the importance of slowing down throughout your day and/or learning to do things more slowly and with more 'savor', look no further than my colleague Dr. Dan Siegel and his 'Healthy Mind Platter'.  Siegel created this fun graphic to illustrate what he considers the seven mental aspects to tend to each day to ensure you are at optimal mental health.

So many of the people who come to therapy or coaching are trying to do too much, too fast.  Basically, they are ignoring (most likely aren't aware of), or practicing, these seven habits.  Then, when they can't get it all done, they blame themselves and those around them, making things worse not better.

How does this 'full life' thing come to be?  Well, today it's easy, just as it was in the days of old when, say, life on the farm was grueling and you had 10 kids to help run things.  Life has always been challenging.  Whether due to the human mind's need for it or the conditions around us necessitating it.

If you look back throughout history, I am sure you can find different cultures and communities had their rituals, ways of making themselves 'slow down', relax, recharge while connecting with others.  To 'soothe one's soul' shall we say, whether that be the dinner table, the ball field, the bar or the church.  You've likely heard efforts lately to encourage families to sit down more often together and eat together.

So I'll do all I can to be more mindful with my phone.  I also took precautions such as housing it in an otter box case this time! And I plan to continue cultivating the art of slow living as I go about my life.  After all, I like to look back on most of my days and not have it be a blur!

How about you?  What have your experiences been with rushing and today's frenetic pace of life?  Feel free to comment below.

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