Monday, October 27, 2014

6 Ways to Slow Down

For us, here in India, the last few days were a rush. The rush for lights and candles and sweets, the rush for cleaning up the house to a sparkle, the rush to light up, the rush to party and meet people and have a good time, the rush to take photographs so we could be up there on social media without a minute’s delay, the rush to….

With Diwali (the Indian festival of lights - just as busy as Christmas) just behind us, what else could we expect, right? While the past week stirred up my days to the speed of a merry carousal, it also made me want to slow down by the end of it. I am a bit like that. I enjoy meeting people and like dressing up, but after a while, I need to scuttle back into my shell. I need to look inside, I need to loll around with my family, I need a sip of slow.

Also, with the frenetic pace of my husband’s days (he is a fighter pilot and works endless hours) and the lack of total family time, I’ve been craving slow even more. I’m looking forward to an oasis of time when we can just hang out as a family, read, paint, watch a DVD or two, catch up over cups of coffee. Maybe, if we’re lucky, ditch the routine for a while, and pack in a short trip to the hills and visit friends in another city.

But while that happens, here are some of the ways I’m trying to slow down in the now.

1. On Sunday evenings, I’ve started writing down the things I’m planning for the week ahead. Just knowing what needs to get done, makes me spend less time trawling the social media networks and I use those stray minutes finishing up what’s important. This way, I free up time to read, play, paint.

2. I’m trying to get back to meditation. As a mother with a baby at home, meditation is often the last thing on my mind. So now, instead of seeking out cushion time (meditating in a calm corner on a cushion), I practice my meditation whenever I can – while sitting on a culvert with the sun slathering my face with light, while pushing my son in his stroller, just after waking up in the morning.

3. I’ve got back to journaling after months. Instead of just writing about what’s been happening in my life, I’m now working through a list of journal prompts. This makes me look forward to my journal time and lets me work within the framework of a word, which is challenging and freeing.

4. I’m reading about savoring slow and gathering inspiration from mothers across the world, who slow down and relish their daily lives with children at home. I’m enjoying ‘Savoring Slow’ by Shawn Fink, and will highly recommend ‘Slow Family Living’ by Bernadette Noll.

5. I’m learning to be more mindful of the things that I do during the course of the day, treating each of these as a little ritual in itself rather than another task to get through. Things like feeding my son his meals and bottles of milk, giving him his baths, taking him for walks, cooking meals, tidying up the house, putting away the laundry (I’m having a tough time being mindful about this one!).

6. I’m letting go. Letting go of hurts, of errant remarks, of irritations, of repetitive thoughts – all the things that clutter our mind, adding to the busyness.

How do you savor slow?

Hello Monday + Happy New Week!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like 7 ways to practice happiness.

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#slow #slowliving #mindfulness 

photography by chandana banerjee

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