Slow Down… and Speed Up
It is common knowledge that ‘speed kills’. Speeding cars are the leading cause of death in Kuwait. If we all just slowed down a little, perhaps we would not only save lives but also save our souls.
As the pace of the world around us gathers momentum, we may feel the urge to race with it. Everything is getting quicker, faster and supposedly more efficient; online services, deliveries of goods, cars, planes, internet connections, you name it. Yet within the eye of this hurricane there is a calm that we need to capture. We need to learn not to be affected by the storm outside and instead nurture the peace inside.
Check, how many times you find yourself using the words, ‘Come on’, ‘Hurry up!’, ‘Quick!’, ‘Faster!’, ‘Yallah!’ (Arabic for let’s go), throughout the day. And then to ask yourself, what is the hurry? And after you have done what you needed to, then what, and then what, and then what? Do you see where I am going with this example? What is your destination? Where are you headed? Check that more haste does not create less speed!
We rush in life to finish our studies, so that we may work to earn money, so that we may be successful earlier and retire earlier. We work our butts off for the kids, who too will work their butts off for theirs, and so the cycle continues. So which generation will stop to enjoy the fruits of their labour? It is a sad state of affairs that we get so caught up in the doing, instead of in the being, the ‘in-sperience’.
Technology is our friend but also our foe. It was supposed to give us more time to do the things we wanted, to experience more leisure, yet instead it has become a means to consume time as it forces us to speed up our replies and reactions. We find we have become slaves to technology as we respond to every message, bleep, ping and pong. So which is the slave and which is the master? Someone remarked that we were better off in the days when blackberries and apples were just fruits!
To slow down does not mean to be lazy or inactive. Quite the contrary. As we slow down, and give emphasis to our inner world, our thoughts are fewer and more focused. We become happier, more productive, thus we speed up our inner progress.
It’s an illusion to think that as I do more, and I do it more quickly, then I will become more, and acquire more. The truth is that I am actually losing. I am taking away from my spirit. I am depleting my spiritual energy, not enhancing it.
How often have we made mistakes in haste that we regretted later? If only we had slowed down a little, or took time to make certain decisions, then our time would be used in a worthwhile way.
As I slow down, focus on what I want and redirect my thoughts, then I am more likely to achieve what I want. Racing or running after things could even push them away from me. As spiritually enlightened beings, we can trust that whatever needs to come to us will arrive in its own time.
Slow down, take in and enjoy this moment right now… and now… and now. The present is the only time I can truly experience. I am perfectly content to be where I am right now.
Learn to slow down by taking in deep breaths through out the day. Check yourself, are you feeling stressed or at peace? Learn to eat slowly, chewing your food well. Walk a little more slowly and observe all the things around you.
You may even like to experiment with a technology-free day or even just a couple of hours, and see what happens.
If you adopt these new habits then you may even find you will accomplish your work in half the time. Limiting the things that cause you stress will help you become a master rather than a servant.
It’s time… to slow down and breathe deeply. Enjoy the present moment and enhance the quality of your life. Tame your technology and become a master of time.
Share these thoughts! ‘It’s Time…’ is spreading far and wide! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source – ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London