I grew up on a remote island in the South Pacific. I vividly remember what life was like over there. The speed limit was no more than 25 miles per hour on the roads. Everything. EVERYTHING moved at its own seemingly glacial pace.
Nonetheless, things still got done. People worked, cooked food, had gatherings with friends and family, built homes, and lived full and rich lives.
On a clear summer night, I left that island with my tear-stained face on a plane headed for America. Now, I live in a land in which someone else is always driving faster than you on the freeway, regardless of your own breakneck speed. People hurry along in droves trying to get so much accomplished in so little time. They are pulled in multiple directions raising kids, posting on instagram/facebook/twitter/etc, taking selfies, building a career, staying healthy, partying, traveling, creating, doing, doing, and more doing.
They all move SO FAST.
At what point did we learn that faster is always better?
What if we took on the intention to slow down in life? Instead of taking on so many things so quickly, what if we did the opposite?
Could we do one thing at a time? Do it at a slower and more comfortable pace?
What if we regularly stepped back to press on the brakes and proceeded slowly?
For myself, what I gain from doing this is more space to breath and gather perspective. So what could this look like for you?
Instead of a tackling a to-do list of 20 items, take on one important item with the trust that either everything else will get done in their own time or that some things just actually do not need doing.
When you eat food, chew slowly and savor every morsel of flavor.
Walk a little more slowly along your way.
Have multiple moments for yourself to take a long, deep breadth.
Take a drive through the countryside and do it slowly. Feel the wind in your hair. Drive slow enough that you can take in the view.
Pause before the next time you pick up your cell phone and acknowledge what is going on around you. Is there someone you can talk to instead? Maybe you can just do nothing for a few minutes. Why rush?
Ultimately, living a life that is paced at a rhythm that is comfortable and sustainable means living a life of deeper contemplation. You can trust that everything will get done and will happen as they need to. You can still live a rich and full life.
Slowness allows us to actively live in our own richness.