It is important to have time to reflect on our life, the journey we are on and where we are heading. It is about stopping and enjoying the moment.
Many people are embracing the idea of going slow, which is an antidote to all the rushing around and multitasking that many of us try to do. Since starting a mindfulness course I am finding it more difficult to multitask and that feels like a good thing.
I do not believe that human beings are designed to go as fast as we are trying to. We are presented with hundreds of choices every day from emails, posters, supermarkets, outfits and travel options to name but a few. I am like every one else – trying to absorb everything so that I can make the best choice. Sometimes it simply is not worth the effort and takes up valuable down time.
Another way of slowing down is to engage in the practice of meditation (or prayer). Many great thinkers and spiritual people find this a rewarding experience. Although we think of meditation in the context of Buddhism I believe Christians and other faiths also have a place for meditation in their belief systems. It is also possible to meditate and not belong to any faith group. There are lots of resources and centres that can tell you more about the practice and benefits of meditation. ‘Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.’ Joseph Campbell. I do know that it helps us to slow down and find peace within ourselves and we can then carry this into the world through our daily encounters. I do not meditate as regularly as I would like but I am doing more of it and I do know that whenever I do I am never disappointed.
So we need to give ourselves time for being rather than only doing. I think many of us can get caught up in the need to tell others what we did on the weekend, a bank holiday, for our birthday or an anniversary. What will our friends say if we told them we spent the weekend listening to music, writing poetry or meditating? Are we always busy so we don’t appear boring? If we don’t give ourselves time to reflect how do we know why we are doing what we are doing? I think that quiet times help us on our quest to a fulfilling life that connects to our values.
Throughout this I am also encouraging us to ask questions of ourselves, and those in our life. It is not good to accept what others tell us we should be doing. Socrates says that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. This whole book is dedicated to asking questions of ourselves and then honestly seeking out the answers. This seeking is what makes our life uniquely ours and offers vitality, authenticity and genuine freedom.
What do you think?