Monday, February 13, 2012

9 ways to slow down

I've been thinking about slowing down life recently, nervous that if I fail to savor each moment I will find myself nearing the end of my life regretful that I didn't take more pauses. Although my fear is extreme, I am finding more reasons to take a breath, look around, and marvel at what I see.

1. Turn off technology. A bit ironic I admit, as I use all kinds of technology just to write this but I think without the right balance technology robs us of valuable time. I strongly believe in the practice of shutting off technology whether for a few minutes, hours, or days - whatever pushes us to slight discomfort. It's amazing what can be created in that new space.

2. Bake bread. Good bread takes time and patience. Just the very processes of fermenting, rising, kneading, shaping, proofing, and baking force us to slow down and work within a very different schedule.

3. Go on a walk. Get out of town. Or stay in town. It doesn't matter. Just get outside and walk around. There are so many interesting people and beautiful places to notice when we are free from distraction.

4. Watch babies sleep. When I stop to watch Eden breath in and out, fully peaceful and focused, I am shocked how little else matters in that extended moment.

5. Take a bath. There's not much you can do but relax when you're naked and submerged in water.

6. Ignore the chores. They will be there tomorrow. I tried to keep my house projects consolidated and concentrated allowing me much open time during these early days with Eden.

7. Do a crossword. Every Wednesday morning I grab a Willamette Week from down the street, make a cup of coffee, and sit at the kitchen table with the weekly crossword. This tradition starts my mid-week mornings at a deliberately relaxing pace.

8. Play music. Sometimes when I'm feeling restless I sit down at the piano. Every time I make the effort I am reminded at how peaceful and powerful music playing can be. It soothes my restlessness and allows me to refocus my day.

9. Couch time. Last year Jason and I started a nightly tradition that we quickly named "couch time". Nightly, for at least an hour, we sat together reconnecting after the days events and refreshing our spirits as another day came to an end.

1 comment:

  1. I got through many days busting concrete, digging, or some other kind of hard labor by looking forward to couch time. Definitely my favorite part of the day.