The Possibility of Slowing Down

By Leo Babauta

Our days are a busy rush, often from the moment we wake up. Even in our moments of rest, we are often on our phones or using technology to distract ourselves. The result is a life of stress, overwhelm, and habitual patterns.

What would it be like to slow down? To find stillness in your day, moments of rest and quietude?

The possibility of slowing down goes much deeper than just having a bit less busyness in your day …

Slowing down, if we go deeper, allows us to:

Notice what’s coming up for us, and to attend to our emotions. This is much, much more important than people realize — most of our problems come from an inability to regulate our emotions or even recognize that they’re there.

Make decisions from a place of choosing from the heart. If we have a decision to make, instead of overthinking it, we can slow down and sit in stillness for a few moments, and notice what our heart chooses. This makes decision-making much more effortless, once you learn to trust this.

Make time for creating, instead of just busywork. We rush to do busywork because of fear, and because it’s easier than setting aside time to create. By slowing down, we can make the time to create, and slow down with our fears that are keeping us from doing this.

Focus on what’s really important. What’s most important to you in your life? Spending time on loved ones, on your health, on your most important work? Whatever is most important to you, by slowing down, you can become more intentional and purposeful, and fully be with whatever you choose to do.

Start to break up our habitual patterns. We live our lives mostly on autopilot, driven by old habitual patterns. This isn’t bad, but it means we struggle to do things the way we’d really like. We can begin break up those old patterns by slowing down, and noticing that we’re caught up in them.

Start to get some rest and self-care into our lives. When we are rushed and busy and distracted all day long, it leads to feeling depleted and exhausted. This is a huge problem for many of us. Slowing down can create a bit of spaciousness to choose into rest and taking care of ourselves.

Start to truly appreciate life. Rushing through our day, we barely notice the world in front of us. What if we could start to slow down and find wonder in the everyday moments?

These are just a handful of the possibilities of slowing down. It’s a deep, sacred, beautiful practice that can transform our lives, if we really engage with it regularly.

If you’d like to practice with me, I invite you to join me in my Deepening Into Slowing Down Retreat.

The Deepening Into Slowing Down Retreat

I’m holding an online retreat, Deepening Into Slowing Down, from June 21-23, 2024, and you’re invited.

In this retreat, we’ll meditate together, I’ll teach about the depths possible in slowing down, we’ll look at our old habitual patterns, and do some work on this together. It’s a 3-day retreat designed to have you leave a changed person.

I’m also offering a $100 discount on the retreat if you sign up by the end of May, so grab your seat now.

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