I was in the middle of folding laundry recently and I noticed I was ticking off my mental list of the next 5 things I needed to do when I was finished. Any other day, this would be business as usual: lists are my thing.
But today was a different sort of day; I didn’t have any obligations, my calendar was clear and I could relax and see where the day took me. I intentionally set my day up this way so I could decompress and regroup–I wasn’t even scheduling in a workout at the gym because I wanted to create the time and space to actually relax.
So when I was going through my potential tasks for the day, it dawned on me that even when I created that precious space to be still and unwind from daily craziness, I actually had to coach myself on how to use it. My automatic pilot was so action oriented, the still space and time felt foreign + unrecognizable for what it was.
Thoughts began to roll around in my head about why I was always on the go, both mentally and physically. I’m not a world leader or a international rock star, but life can still feel busy in that way. I recognized the myth of epic proportions that I bought in to a long time ago: I am busy because that’s how I’m supposed to be.
This new introspective discovery allowed me to treat this time I created as a gift. I saw that I could be using it to dig in deeper to my life rather than wasting time on fleeting thoughts and check-lists. When the busy-ness gets in the way of enjoying everyday life, it all seems rather futile.
These thoughts inspired me to plan more down time in my life (oh the irony!) Some days it’s just not possible, but I find if I plan ahead and give myself an hour or two to explore, to relax and to reflect, I am much more productive in my otherwise hectic life. Martha Beck agrees: calming down is the answer.
This slow down time is about being more awake and less distracted. It’s a process of keeping focus on the moment. It’s a practice of trust and patience, too. I want to be more intentional about how I’m living (not just go through the motions) and slowing down helps me get there.
In honor of slowing down, I planned a spa weekend to unwind. It was full of a lot of blissful, quiet moments to relax. There were a lot of deep sighs, reflective thoughts and indulging in delicious food, all while allowing time to pass without being especially productive. It recharged my battery big time. Here are a few pictures from my delightful time away:
Delicious food and lovely partners in crime….
How are you slowing yourself down these days?