The mission of this blog (and for that matter, my life’s work) is to help people life happier, healthier, more mindful and creative lives. With that intent, I offer movement experiences, writing, and art that are fun and interesting and entertaining and also expand your practice, awareness and vision of yourself and what is possible.
Art in Action is a new weekly post: a short, practical guide to applying the ideas and principles in the Focus Pocus posts to your body and life. As always, I love to hear from you about how you use them and how you translate the ideas into action.
Without exception, everything you do can benefit from experimenting with slowing down. Speed is seductive and when we go fast, we tend to go straight into habit. When we go fast, we go unconscious. Here are 8 simple, practical ways to introduce s-l-o-w into your day.
1. Breathe slowly. Simply let your exhalation extend longer than usual to slow down your heart rate and your thought rate.
2. Eat slowly. Put down your fork between bites. BONUS: breathe and take in all the sensations of eating ~ the smell, the color, the texture, the taste and the amazing miracle of Nature and people that brought whatever you are eating to your lips.
3. Listen slowly. Soften your eyes and your breath when someone is speaking to you. Notice if your mind is rushing ahead to the great thing you want to say. Breathe and listen.
4. Speak slowly. Before you speak, take a breath. If you are angry, anxious, sad or excited, take two. Then speak.
5. Walk slowly. Experiment with slowing down the habitual act of walking. Inhale as you lift a foot, exhale as you place it down. Notice what is happening in your body. BONUS: for extra challenge, inhale and exhale as you lift your foot, inhale and exhale as you place your foot and look anywhere but the ground.
6. Hug slowly. Take a full breath in and out during a hug. Take your time to give and receive the healing benefits of touch and care. As the Makepeace Brothers say, Slow Down Feel Love.
7. Read slowly. Whatever you are reading, pause during your reading to think and let what you’re reading soak in. You can even read about slowing down. I’m (slowly) reading The Way of the Hammock by Marga Odahowski which offers lots of space to think and play.
8. Drive slowly. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Drive a few miles under the speed limit. Generously let cars into traffic. Please. Slow down. Save lives.