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Slow living

”A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.”

The present moment – the only moment there is for us to be alive. Humans are very good at preparing to live, but not very good a living. Habitually dwelling in the past and dreaming of the future, while having difficulties concentrating the mind on the present moment.

Wherever you are – know that you are home. Wherever you find yourself; whether you’re stuck in a rut, anxious, or simply lost in the fast spinning outside world – whatever the present moment contains – accept, then act.

”There’s nothing wrong in looking forward to the future, but remember to cerish today’s breath.”

One thing that 2020 thought me, and that I wish to bring with me into 2021 is the idea of ”slow living”. 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 constantly feel the pressure to have more, do more, be more. Never being satisfied, and continually seeking instant gratifications. Forgetting all about how to breathe, losing sight of the moments in-between.

”You’re exactly 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. 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, without dwelling, but simply being aware. It’s a perfect opportunity 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.

Exactly why is slow living good for you?

”A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.”

The main reason – you actually start enjoying life, not just living life. You’ll 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 we rushing Our death beds?

It’s okay, and absolutely necessary, to slow it all down. To pause, breathe, and enjoy nature. To cook your favorite meal. To call a friend. To be together. To watch the ocean. To enjoy a book. To laugh, or cry. Just anything you wish to do.

Sit with yourself, discover what makes your heart sing.

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 & others

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. And while I’m very much for self-development and gaining new knowledge and expertise, it’s also vital to ask oneself why one is striving for something all the time. It all comes down to why we choose to do certain things.

In addition, 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.

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