It can be hard to slow ourselves down and hard to slow life down, and yet it is essential for our soul’s wellness that we find ways to do so.
I live on an island, so it’s a little bit easier here, there’s something about being surrounded by and supported by water that invites you to take things at an easier, less frenetic space. Rushing feels counter to the energy. Also, there are certain elements that force a slower pace.
For example, there is exactly one main “highway” that winds through things around where I live. And by highway I mean one lane going each way in a somewhat straight shot between the north and the east side, and if you get stuck behind a guy hauling a goat (as I did earlier today) be prepared to breathe deep, settle in at a nice 35 mph, and find your patience.
Like I said, life on an island is a forced slower space.
There are lessons to be learned here however. Like how life is in control and not us. How nature and the seasons truly have a rhythm all their own and how we have to learn to bend with them instead of trying to make them bend with us. And that sometimes goats in trucks happen, and you can’t do anything about it, so you have to learn how to sit back and enjoy the ride.
So it is on an island and so it is with life, where we learn new lessons in expansion when we begin to lean into the current instead of fighting it.
Like how to be flexible, adaptable, and resilient.
How to grow beyond our expectations of how something should be and step into the now of how something is.
How expectations are meant to be broken so the moment is embraced.
How to slow down so we can make space to better listen to our deeper selves, and in so doing better learn to heed the wisdom of our soul, heart, and spirit.
We cannot hear these aspects of ourselves if we don’t make space. And though the voice of our deeper self can be quite audible if we turn the volume down on the rest of life, we don’t give ourselves a lot of room to listen when we keep things cluttered with stress and busyness.
Like I said, island life lends itself more easily to slowing things down, but you don’t have to live on an island to create space to be present with yourself, you just have to figure out strategies that work for you.
Those three, thoughtful minutes in the morning where you take the time to breathe deep and set your intentions for the day.
That drive time to or from somewhere, where you turn off the radio, crack the windows, and let silence be the stars that guide you home.
Time in nature. Time with a journal. A dinner with yourself. A walk at lunch. Meet a friend for coffee- be the friend you meet. Pencil it into your calendar, pencil it into your day and grab and seize and squeeze and eek out whatever space you can, however feels good for you.
And if space is hard to come by, create it inside of you.
Slow your breath. Slow your pace. Slow how fast you drive. Slow your walk. Transition more slowly from one task to another. Slow your nervous system
Be mindful of what you experience. Mentally tell yourself you are shifting gears and picture closing the door on one thing before opening another.
Put your hand on your heart at random intervals and focus on its beats. Be with the pace of love.
It is essential to the health of our soul that we have quiet places to drop in and drop down so we can contemplate, notice, and nourish the inner truths that speak to us on a deep level. This is where we find our diamonds and pearls of self-knowledge that help us live more brave and courageously. This is where we find the maps of our soul to help guide us to a more authentic life.
This is where we learn to embrace life’s lessons and find the gifts that grow us.
Even if that means you’re moseying down a highway, delightedly watching the goat in front of you, noticing that it doesn’t matter if you’re going to be late for what’s happening over there- what matters is the joy you feel in this moment.
This moment right here.