Slow Yourself Down

Mantra Part I – Hold Fast
Mantra Part II- Slow Yourself Down

It was on the island of Kaua’i that I saw the hand-painted sign on rough dark wood; SLOW YOURSELF DOWN. Those words were a revelation that awoke something deep in my soul. 

Until I was forty I had played the what-if game and tried to figure out who I was.  I moved through life trying to be the person I thought I should be, I focused on the future not the moment, trying to hurry the clock along because I thought that if I just got this one item or this one place in time, then things would be better. I would be better. 

It never worked of course.  Even after I realized that I was doing the work God had called me to do, joy was still missing–and I did not find it until I learned to slow myself down. 

Compounding the what-ifs and the searching I allowed myself to be pushed and pulled by my emotions, social media, my phone, and the number of commitments I’d take on. We race from one point to another distracted by a constant stream of information. We believe that being over scheduled is a sign of progress when in fact all of the aforementioned are a sign of destruction. An emotional shell game that we can never win, one that pulls our attention from what really matters. Our children notice, our loved ones notice.  We neglect the moment because we think that peace, joy, and happiness are just over there and our souls are empty because of it. 

We don’t have to turn our lives upside down to slow ourselves down. All we need to do is to be more mindful in the moment. Listen to the birds, the wind, the people you are in conversation with. When we listen instead of just hear, we learn. 

When we slow ourselves down we open our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to the beauty, diversity, and love the world is offering to us, and from this hope, joy, and gratitude grow outward.