Slow Down and See The World: Is This Possible?

“Slow Down and See The World” has appeal as a tagline. Instead of driving from place to place, some touring companies suggest biking. Travel by bike is slower. Imagine cycling from town to town, enjoying the landscape, stopping in a quaint village for lunch, and moving at a relaxed yet active pace. This is a favorite way to travel for many. 
 
Admittedly, as the tourist, we’ll only “accomplish” so much, even if the transport is a spiffy E-bike. Will a slower pace translate to seeing less? And, does it even matter if we “see” less? The answer is “No” and “No”.  We’ll  “see” more. Movement at a more relaxed pace activates all of our senses, mind, body and imagination.  Our surroundings will engage us fully.
 
In our daily lives it’s counter-intuitive to live and work at a “slower” pace.  The more we have to do, the faster and hopefully more organized we become with perfectly orchestrated schedules. The frenetic energy of a busy day reminds me of hiking with my dogs off-leash: they hike the trail at least ten times, up and down, running ahead, returning, back up the mountain again and again and again. On four legs dogs move quicker. On two, we can’t compete. It’s impossible to keep up. Our Well Being is at stake.
 
Living as Travelers means Slowing Down and Seeing the World in daily life. A “Slower” pace translates to clarity on

what matters most and the ability to prioritize. When we’re super busy jammed pack with responsibilities and projects, it’s even more imperative to live mindfully and cultivate Well Being. Despite pressures to ignore our bodies and stressed minds, it is possible to move gently during demanding times. Here are some possibilities to support ease:

  • Prioritize one or two projects. We rarely can accomplish as much as we think in the time we have. As Charles Gilkey, author of the just released book, Start Finishing: How to Go From Idea To Done,  suggests, identify your most important projects and block out focused time every week on your calendar for these projects, until complete.  “Most important” projects align with goals and what you care about most, aka, your values. Choose wisely and trust your choices.

Be aware that a myriad of distractions can creep in and demand your attention. Like returning to your breath when distracted in a meditation, re-focus with kindness and compassion. It’s not easy to manage the Big amidst the Minutia. 

  • Breath often. Routinely take three breaths.  A Three Breath practice from the Search Inside Yourself program includes the following steps:
    • First Breath: Bring attention to the breath
    • Second Breath: Relax the body
    • Third Breath: Ask: What’s Important Now?
  • Move deliberately and slowly. Nothing good comes when rushing anyway. Ask yourself, “what does moving quicker accomplish?” Please note that my husband laughs at this suggestion.  See my speed at the airport and you’ll understand.  Don’t be that person climbing quickly up the escalator! Stand on the moving walkways (this is near impossible for me).

Most of all stay safe and nurture Well Being. Take a look around as you move from place to place. If you have a chance, grab some fresh air. Notice the light and trees and whatever green is around you.  

Living as a Traveler means being present and attuned every day. When Slowing Down and Seeing the World, we enjoy our life that much more, regardless of circumstances or challenges. Our Well Being stays in tact creating long term happiness.  Wishing You Well.