”The only constant thing in life is change, hence adapt to the cycles, and surrender to all that is given to you.”
I am a ”I just want to sit in front of the ocean for a little while” kind of person. Whenever I need to find stillness I go to the ocean. The sense of calmness, and the sound of the waves always brings peace to my soul. I’ve always lived close to the sea; I grew up on the coast, in a small town in Finland, and I’ve always seen myself living close to water. Wherever I move, there needs to be water. Water is life.
One thing I want to bring with me into 2020 is the idea of ”slow living”. Taking into account that I’m a rather sensitive human I believe it’s a concept I’ll greatly benefit from. In fact I believe all of us can benefit from slowing down the pace, even for a tiny bit. More often than not this fast paced society triggers feelings such as worry, anxiety and stress. We feel the pressure to have more, do more, be more. Never being satisfied, and constantly seeking instant gratifications. Forgetting all about how to breathe in-between.
”You’re right where you need to be in order to get to where you want to go.”
I’ve noticed that the quieter my surroundings, the easier it becomes to hear my inner voice. My mind is one of those who like to constantly chitchat about this and that, and usually about weird, irrelevant topics. To be able to still the mind, and listen to what lies underneath is, however, my main purpose while seeking stillness. When the mind is turbulent it’s difficult to hear or see anything, nevertheless, when the mind is calm, everything becomes clear blue sky. I believe, that, within the stillness you find space. A space called home.
One doesn’t have to meditate in order to find peace of mind, however it might help. Needless to say, it’s not the minutes that count; it’s what you carry with you, after you’ve been sitting in silence – the patience, the alertness and a greater sense of awareness. Meditation is not sitting with no thought – it’s letting the thoughts pass by, not dwelling, but simply being aware. It’s a perfect way to practise slow breathing, going within, and trusting oneself.
When seeking stillness you allow your brain to go beyond thought. You might for example struggle with a challenging task, and seek more intelligent ideas on how to proceed – when you allow your brain to unwind, and ”turn off”, hence getting rid of all the pressure, you allow your creativity to come alive, which in turn may lead to more creative solutions to your problem.
”Trust the seasons changing, trust your inner voice. It knows.”
There’s a special thing being one with nature, whether it’s watching the ocean, smelling the forest, hiking in the autumn mountains, taking a midnight swim or laughing up in the air. Nature has a tendency to teach us plenty; she teaches us how to be still, how to unwind and relax. When in nature, start practicing being more present – stay alert and witness the beauty she so effortlessly provides us with. Let her guide you home.
Another perfect opportunity to practice slow living is while eating. Taste your food, smell it, feel it. With every bite, be there. When you eat, you eat, you don’t scroll through social media, watch TV, sit infront of your computer, or talk with your friends on the phone. You eat, and with every delicious bite, you’re there. It’s the same when you’re preparing food; cooking can actually be the most perfect way to unwind. Chill music in the background, a glass of red wine, good company – and you just created the most perfect recipe for ultimate relaxation.
Exactly why is slow living good for you?
The main reason – you actually start enjoying life, and not just living life. You become more aware of the things happening around you, as well as within you. I don’t believe life is meant to be rushed, cause to where are you rushing? Your death bed?
Sit with yourself, discover what makes your heart sing.
Take every chance you get to do the things that make you come alive. It doesn’t have to be anything huge; if you like to play the piano – play the piano, if you like to feed the poor – feed the poor, if you like to write – write. Don’t complicate things. And remember to smile. To laugh. Life should be enjoyed with pure bliss.
When you’re enjoying what you’re doing you easily reach that so called flow state. A state of being when time passes by without you even noticing. A state of being when you’re your most creative self. A state of being when you’re guided by your inner voice. A state of being that can only be described by the words pure bliss. Learn to look at life with the curiosity of a child. Embrace who you are – all of it, both the shadow and the light. Accept your darker sides, your shortcomings. It is with acceptance and awareness that we can start to begin to change.
The study of self
By taking time to slow down you allow yourself to fully appreciate all that is happening within you. In other words, it can be seen as the study of self.
Become curious. Curious enough to want to know more about yourself, and the ways in which you can expand. There’s so much to discover, and learn about life, about yourself and the people around you. When you spend precious, slow time alone you gain a better understanding of who you are, and what you desire in life. You may also come to appreciate other peoples’ company more, after spending hours by yourself.
When it comes to relationships you have the opportunity to be both the teacher, and the student. Therefore, start practising slow living when interacting with other people. What can you teach each other? In what way can you serve one another? How can you both benefit from the interaction? Start by listening without judgment. Listen to understand, not simply to respond.
Keep in mind that everything is positive as long as we learn from it. Learn to forgive yourself, and others. Relationships are our biggest teachers. Humans are social creatures, we’re not meant to sit in solitude day in and day out. We’re meant to interact with each other. We’re meant to evolve and change with the help from one another. You truly get to know yourself while communicating and spending time with a wide range of people. It’s a tremendous richness to get to spend time with humans that are different from ourselves – people that have a different outlook on life, speak a different language, as well as people with different life experiences.
With this being said, I strongly believe we all can benefit from introducing the concept of ”slow living” into our hectic lives. Not only for the sake of our own wellbeing, but in the interest of gaining a deeper connection within our relationships.