Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

22 Reasons to Slow Down the Pace

“It’s so nice to be home. It’s so quiet here!”  These are the sentiments of my friend upon her recent return from Bali.

“It’s so busy there,” she exclaimed. “And loud and polluted.”

I wonder:  Is the whole world being engulfed by busyness? What about your personal world?

“There’s more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mohandas Gandhi

21 Reasons to Slow Down

Lately, I haven’t been able to keep up myself. As spring slides into summer, it’s clear I need to slow down my pace.  These are my reasons for downshifting. Maybe they’ll resonate for you, too.

1. To imbibe the sweetness of life.

2. The leave the city of overwhelm.

3. To loosen my attachments. You have to give up all the busyness when you die!

4. To nourish myself.

5. To be in the present moment.

6. To allow ample time for reflection, inspirational reading, and meditation.

7. To let my thinking mind relax.

8. To foster intuition.

9. To cultivate the felt-sense.

10. To genuinely connect with others heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind.

11. To de-stress.

12. To write articles for you that are meaningful, inspiring, useful and/or thought-provoking without feeling rushed.

13. To allow time for healing and bolstering my health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

14. To absorb nutrients from the food I eat.

15. To care for my garden, which, in turn, cares for me.

16. To connect with the elements – earth, water, fire, air, and space.

17. To smell the roses.

18. To access clarity, insight, and wisdom.

19. To put perfectionism to death.

20. To read all the books I’m wanting to read and blog posts I’ve been missing.  Apologies if I haven’t been to your blog lately!

21.  To better serve others.

22.  To be part of creating a more peaceful, loving, joy-filled world.

Slowing down is not easy for me. My neurotransmitters are entrained to fire at high speed. There’s a vulnerability in slowing down and simply being.  It takes courage to let go.

But I know it’s the only way to unpeel all the layers and live from my true essence. And this is the basis for being of service to others in a non-sticky way.

Is all the busyness really necessary or even helpful? We need to make a living, but how much more do we really need to do? Doesn’t it make sense to be satisfied with what you have instead of endlessly trying to improve your conditions?

“Remember the example of an old cow;

She’s content to sleep in a barn.

You have to eat, sleep, and shit – That’s unavoidable.

Beyond that is none of your business.”

Patrul Rinpoche

Interestingly, the flavor of sweetness is associated with the earth element and the health of the digestive system in Chinese medicine.  Often, when we are too busy and stressed, our gut ends up tied in knots.  Just look at the checkout stand at most drugstores and you’ll see an abundance of of antacids.  A more natural solution is to simply slow down and reconnect with the earth element.

What does this mean for my blog?  I will simplify and post once a week on Sunday. I like the idea of pouring myself into creating one article each week that is really worthy of your time and attention.

I may occasionally share entries during the week if I feel there’s space and time.  A possibility, but not a promise.  I’m also intrigued by the idea of challenging myself to write succinctly.   I’ll continue to link to my articles at the What Meditation Really Is blog twice a month too.

My purpose in blogging is to be here for you in a genuine way that – at the same time – supports my own personal growth so I will better walk my talk.  May we all have space, sweetness, and love in our life.

A few questions and reflections for you:  Do you too need to slow down the pace of your life?  Or, are you already able to stay sane amidst all the busyness of this world?  If so, what’s your secret?

Image: @Sue Alexander, Inspired Type

Thank you for reading.  If you liked this article, please share the link with others using the share buttons below.  And, I would love to hear from you in the comments or see you at the Always Well Within Facebook Page.  Thanks so much for your support!  Sandra

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47 Comments

  1. This is wise scheduling, Sandra. If an inspiration pesters you, you can post extra, or if more important matters appear, you can post less. Quality is really all that matters to me. I liked every one of these reasons. I hope you will make lots of space in your life for doing no-thing, intentionally, so that miracles and insights will have room to present themselves.

  2. Hi there,

    I was just at your blog reading about your acting career, 6-mile driving radius, and Leo Kottke. Your stories are always so engaging. I just love them.

    Thank you for your affirmation of my new posting schedule. I like having a regular schedule because I love hearing from my friends in the comments on Sunday morning and sometimes Saturday night too. It’s always so wonderful, cozy, and supportive for me. I could easily write many more posts a week. But I really need this “no-thing” you speak of!

    Thank you!

  3. Hi Sandra,
    I recently have begun practicing the affirmation: “I have more than enough time to create all that is meaningful to me”. As single mom of two preteen children at different schools ..with my own fulltime job outside the home and a fulltime online career.. the details of life can get in the way of actually “living”. When my little family is all home together we take time outdoors–every day. I do not “allow” us to feel rushed as we go about our day..I set the tone when I wake the childen with love and gentleness, then carry it through our morning prep and evening wind down. My creations absorb my energy–whether that is cleaning the boat, cooking meals, working with clients, or allowing my vision to rest upon the sky..all that I invest in absorbs my energy, so I allow that energy to be loving, purposeful, delightfilled. It took a while to get to this point, especially with the external details of our life, but the peace is well worth the mindfulness.
    I am glad you are creating for Sundays..a wonderful way for us, your readers, to begin the week and to process what you share. When we slow down the pace, we are embracing quality..may this quality enrich all of your experiences 🙂

    • Joy. Your affirmation rang so true for me as I have begun to focus on something similar but I really like the succinctness of your mantra. I’m writing it down and will be sharing it with me tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Thanks so much for posting it!

    • Hi Joy,

      This would be a perfect affirmation for me too. Thank you for sharing it. I’m writing it down right now.

      I can’t imagine what my life would be like as a mother since by tendency is to go toward frazzle instead of calm. I admire the way you are creating an atmosphere of calm presence for your children. You mastered one of the secret keys of life > calm really emanates from being fully present and aware in the moment with a loving and open heart. Such wonderful keywords for live > “loving, purposeful, delightfilled”! You are such an inspiration.

      Thank you for your loving support.

  4. I am impressed after reading one of your comments recently, Looks like you are taking care of you:)
    Another way i slow down is to take a bath, light some candles and meditate or put on relaxing music- it always seem to energize me.

    I love what i see as your discipline- i am looking at posting more and making quite short posts or videos.
    I look forward to you special Sunday Post
    love
    Suzie

    • Suzie,

      Baths are so nourishing if – as you suggest here – you allow your mind to slow down too!

      I’m not really disciplined in many way, but somehow I’ve fallen into a good rhythm with posting. Some bloggers only write when they have something to say, but for me that would be everyday! Guess, I’m the opinionated type. 🙂

      I look forward to seeing how your new approach works for you. I’ve started to enjoy videos more now that my internet access has improved, but yesterday I couldn’t get a single video to play.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. Hi Sandra.

    I smiled knowing that you were applying your knowledge about downshifting to your own life. Good on you for deciding upon one post per week. Because that’s wisdom!

    This busy-ness that is prevalent in our Western culture may be part of our innate neurology however I think I learned it well and then imprinted in my neuronal pathways as an addiction. One we get surrender to this busy-ness, it tends to feed itself.

    Thank you so much for reminding me to be mindful of my pace!

    • Susie,

      That’s a very interesting idea that busyness may be part of our innate neurology. I would love to hear more about that. I’ll have to go search your blog to see if you’ve written about this concept there. Busyness can become an addiction that feeds itself. Thank you for highlighting that point.

      I don’t think any one pace is automatically bad. Sometimes we may need to do many things like preparing to travel. In the end, it’s the mindfulness and balance that makes a difference in the quality of our life.

  6. I hear you Sandra because I’ve felt the same way recently.

    Number five from your list, “To be in the present moment.” has been the motivation behind me feeling the need to slow down, too.

    I’m looking forward to sharing this time and space with you on Sundays. Now, go rest my friend.

    Alex

    • Great advice! I already slept in so I’m a step ahead on my space program. It’s nice to have a partner in this spacious endeavor. May you be fully present in each moment that arises!

  7. Sandra,
    I couldn’t agree with you more! After reading your article I realize why I was feeling so anxious this week. I went to Blogworld Expo NY and, of course, had a marvelous time and met some marvelous people but, everyone there was sooo driven to succeed that I felt this pressure to come home and “keep” up.

    I miss not being “busy” all the time. I miss reading books and moving more slowly through my days. I haven’t done that since I started blogging. Thank you for writing this article. I needed it today.

    We need time to just be. We are after all human beings, not human doings!

    • Angela,

      It’s so easy to pick up the “driven to succeed” fever in the blogosphere. I think we should receive special inoculations against it. 🙂 I see that if someone wants to have an “A-list” blog (a term that really turns me off, but does communicate an idea), they really do need a lot of drive because it takes a big commitment of time and energy. In which case, it may not be realistic to also slow down the pace… at least not for a couple of years! But maybe there are some ways to sneak in a little more space in the schedule to allow for these precious moments you speak of reading and moving slowly through out days.

      I really here you! I love the play on words…human “beings” rather than “doings.”

  8. Sandra,
    I pushed submit too quickly before I could thank you for linking to my article! ( I do need to slow down!)

  9. Hi Sandra,

    I think it is good that you are adopting a pace for your posts that you are comfortable with. Once a week is fine as it gives you more time to think through your articles. And if there is an urge to share something during the week, it would be a welcome bonus as well. Writing from the heart about things that are important and natural to you always makes for good reading. I usually write because I have something to say myself and not just for the sake of writing.

    Like everyone else I too need to slow down the pace of my life. Of your 21 reasons, I think it is because I need to nourish myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. There is also the need for reflection, reading and meditation. Only when I have time for these activities will I be able to find the inspiration to write meaningful articles. I usually try to set aside some time for myself each day so that I destress a little and relax. Doing the things I love because I love to do it is a great way to recharge so that I don’t burn out.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Irving,

      I appreciate how you see the interconnection between being able to write meaningfully and allowing space in our life to live meaningfully. It’s easy to write regurgitated articles ~ there are plenty of them on the internet ~ but to really provide value and meaning takes [some] time and inner reflection. You’ve put your finger on it > I really do need a little more time to think through some of the articles I would like to write so they will be complete from my perspective.

      On the other hand, I’m looking forward to trying out writing more succinctly. I think it might hlep to sharpen my mind and my writing. These attempts may become my mid-week pieces. It’s said that people’s attention spans are becoming very narrow due to social media. I don’t think that necessarily applies to people who read my blog, but it is an interesting factor to consider.

      Your articles are always masterpieces. I imagine they each take considerable time.

      I’m glad you set aside time to destress and relax each day. Doing things you love is also a great way to stay energized in life.

  10. Sandra: I think that is an important question that we all have to ask ourselves. I am a believer that we have to always have the best mindset and peace of mind. Many times that means we do need to evaluate how we are spending our time and make certain we aren’t too caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Great message and great list. I am looking forward to your weekly posts 🙂

    • Sibyl,

      I like the way that you form this into a question to ask ourselves periodically. I appreciate your discipline of self-evaluation, which is the best way to lead an awake life! Thanks for your thoughts, appreciation, and support.

  11. Sweet Sweet Sandra,
    I’m completely with you and truly happy for you that you have come to a point of stillness and slowness. I believe great creations require slowing down. Helps in Recollecting your thoughts and emotions.
    To me slowing down used to come in phases. Some days would be mad rush and some extremely calm. When i realized that I am happiest and most creatively productive during the calm slow phases, I decided to consciously make the choice to make everyday such.
    Hence you must’ve noticed…I blog once a week max twice, facebook twitter a few minutes a day..etc. Be it online or offline, slowing down is good for mind body and soul. I loved that quote by Patrul Rinpoche. So much Amazing truth in it. So Much unnecessary we keep running after and wasting precious energy over.
    Whenever I see someone rushing running in life…I often think, when this physical life ends, is all what we are running behind going to come with us? The cars, houses, endless designer clothes, bank balances…….It brings so much back into perspective.
    Slowing down allows us to heal, to grasp, to digest all that is in and around us.
    We are both in the same stream of thought my dear….and I love having a friend like you who ‘gets’ what I mean 🙂
    Love you lots,
    Z~

    • Zeenat,

      There’s so much wisdom in your reply! Thank you for sharing your own experience of discovering the wisdom of slowing down. It’s inspiring how you’ve decided to consciously make everyday a calm, slow day. I’m definitely learning to follow your beautiful example, but I’m a tough case! It takes me a little time to catch on.

      You bring the most important perspective to this question > what’s the point of rushing about to simply acquire material possession that can never bring true happiness and won’t help us a bit when we die.

      I love being in the same stream with you! And on the same wavelength too. You are a dear friend. I’m so lucky to know you.

  12. Hi Sandra,

    I love the idea – and the experience – of slowing down to savor the sweetness of life. We miss so much when we move too fast.

    And so glad to hear that you are following your heart with regard to slowing down the pace of posting. I love you, and appreciate your wisdom, no matter how often I hear from you!

    • Hi Gail,

      Thank you for your love, kindness, and support! You are an inspirational role model when it comes to slowing down. I’ve appreciated your own wisdom on this topic.

  13. Hi Sandra,

    I found myself nodding my head in agreement with your reasons for downshifting. And I’m happy to see you continue to evolve your blog… and create the space for all those wonderful reasons.

    A few months ago I found myself veering away from personal goals, and stressed about creating new designs every week. So I slowed down the pace to every other week. I realize that may not be often enough for most blogs, but for me it just made sense. For the first time in my life, I have the luxury of time (unemployment)… so why make myself crazy with a self-imposed do-it-now gigantic to-do list?

    Time to go make a cup of tea and smell the roses!

    LOVE this post. Thank you so very much for giving my design a home :~D

    Sue

    • Sue,

      You are so brilliant to have taken back the reigns of your life and altered your posting schedule to a pace that enriches you personally. I follow in your footsteps. Each and every one of your designs is a precious gift and message to reflect on for awhile. Sharing designs every other week gives us even more time to integrate these uplifting messages. So it’s all perfect!

      It’s so funny how when we are working a lot, all we want is space; then when we have space there’s this tendency to fill it up. I’m inspiring you’ve gone beyond that!

  14. Slowing down is difficult. I am always trying to get more and more out of my day.
    But about 3 months ago I vowed to speed up so much that I could slow down.

    By producing a lot in a short time it gives me a lot of time during which I don’t need to produce which is very nice.

    • Daniel,

      This is a very interesting approach. I’ve met a spiritual master with this same approach. He was a master at the art of relaxation, but when it came time to accomplish he was able to quickly do a lot in a short time. This approach clearly works well for you and I’m sure it’s likely to be a good fit for others too. We’re all different and I think the key to our own happiness and success is knowing ourselves.

  15. ur right sandra
    i need to slow down to reduce stress as these days am facing lots of it
    thank u

    • Farouk, I’m sorry for the stress you are facing. I’m sending you some slow vibes and wishing you to have whatever you need to move through this period without distress. Thanks for your visit.

  16. After reading Simplify Your Life ~ 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter, I created time and space for what really matters ~ now my pace is slow and steady.

    Time well spent is what makes life worth living.

    Enjoy the path as it unfolds before you, Sandra.

    • Nancy, That’s sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing the title with us. I’m glad you found an enjoyable way for yourself.

  17. Speeding up is insidious because it feels like you HAVE to speed up to get things done. The reality is that the faster you go, the less you actually do.

    Something Ghandi said once: I have SO much to do today that I think I’ll have to meditate 2 hours instead of only one.

    • That’s a great point, Pete. Speeding up is often counter-productive, but it doesn’t seem that way to us. It seems like the solution, when it’s often the cause of more problems. I LOVE this quote from Gandhi. There’s a lot to reflect on there. Thank you!

  18. Hi Sandra, your opening line Lately, I haven’t been able to keep up with myself is starting to sound like everyone’s theme song. Is the whole world being engulfed by busyness? I think so and that means that we all need to examine our personal situation just as you have done, and then take appropriate action. When we do, it might be wise to resist the phrase Just as soon as… because in most cases that’s the same as never. Thanks for being the voice of balance in the busyness business.

    • I’m sure you are hearing quite a lot about busyness in your personal coaching sessions! It’s funny, Jonathan, because my life is far more simple than most people, but I’m going through a healing process and need more down time. What you’ve said is so important > “…we all need to examine our own personal situation”. It all comes down to knowing ourselves as well as recognizing that our needs change and that different phases of life require a different speed. I appreciate your comment.

  19. Hi Sandra — thanks for this. One of the things that tends to motivate me to “slow down” is the recognition that sitting still can be a worthy challenge. The tension that can come up in my body during meditation, and that sense of agitation, can be difficult to just be with and allow, but there is a sense of accomplishment after being able to do that for me.

    • Hi Chris,

      I find your willingness to be with the tension and agitation that arises in meditation courageous and inspiring. It’s that tension and agitation that is constantly propelling us to act often without much consideration about the worthiness of our actions. The willingness to sit through it ~ as you demonstrate so beautifully ~ is the path to freedom and a wonderful accomplishment indeed. Thanks for taking a moment to share your insights.

  20. Beautiful reflections.

    One thing that always helps me reset my pace is asking the question, “What am I rushing through for?” If there’s something else I should be doing, then I switch to that, so I can be fully engaged.

    There’s a lot to be said for spending time on the right things, at the right time, the right way, with the right energy.

    • That’s a perfect question, J. D. Thanks for sharing it. There’s a lot of power in the right question.

  21. Thanks Sandra for this. I really like your list. We’ve all completely lost our minds with busyness. And here I am in Chicago on the train downtown to work, tapping away on my smartphone an eloquent (ha) response to your post. Maybe I could look out the window and think! Well thanks for the reminder to simplify. Ok, time to stop and look out the window . . .

  22. Sandra-I love how you are honoring yourself. I always look forward to your posts-so once a week will make them all the more special. Take good care (I know you are).

  23. Sadly, my new job is forcing my life to speed up. I think losing that extra time to breathe deeply, lounge around with the cat, drink tea, and be still is going to be pretty painful. I told myself I would try the full time office job for at least a little while, though, and I hope I’ll find compensations — an hour on the train every day just to read or think, and maybe the experience I need to work from home. I love your reasons for slowing down and am grateful that you will be posting just on Sundays, when I will have time to read and appreciate your posts.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      I’m so sorry to hear that! Working full time seems to be the norm in our culture and I did it for most of my life. In fact, I worked full time plus. In retrospect, I don’t know how I managed it at all! I hope you will find compensations and that it will give your the experience you need to create your preferred working schedule in the future. I’m fortunate to be able to work part time now and it is a real blessing indeed.

      I will probably have mid-week posts sometimes, but they are more likely to be short ones. I have so many things I WANT to write, but I think moderation is a more sensible approach for me. Thanks for your thoughts and good luck with your new job.

  24. You provide a great example to those of us who tend to get caught up in the day-to-day “stuff.” Time spent in reflection helps you to figure out what really matters, what you can let go and how best you can live the days of your life. Thanks.

  25. Pamela

    Sandra – thank you so much for this wonderful post. I have been reflecting on how the seasons each seem to have their own rhythm, for me (I’m in a distinct 4-season climate). I am a true lover of winter – a season which naturally seems to have a slower pace and more space. Spring is always a bit of a challenge for me – everything changes! Transformation is everywhere, schedules start to fill up, things start to move a lot faster. When you said, “As spring slides into summer, it’s clear I need to slow down…” my current experience became so much more clear! I have felt rushed, hurried, unable to really get my mind and heart around things that are happening. I think I am longing to “re-set” after the major shifts that come with spring. Your list of reasons just confirms and reinforces this longing, this guidance. Thank you SO much. And, for what it’s worth, I read (and share! on facebook!) your posts very frequently. I am grateful for your wisdom and will be happy with however many posts you wish to write in a week. Peace and Blessings 🙂 -Pamela

    • Pamela,

      Thank you so much for mentioning the idea of staying in tune with the seasons. I concur with you, and in traditional medicine this awareness is also said to be part of staying healthy. Now that you mention it, it reminds me of how Spring and September too can bring the particular challenges you outline. It also comes down to tuning into our own body and inner messages, which you sense so clearly by feeling rushed, hurried, and having trouble wrapping your heart around things. It’s not easy in our speedy culture to respect our own rhythms. I’m so delighted your are tuning in and taking the time to find your own pace. I’m happy that I could be a tiny part of the process, but I see that your own inner wisdom is the biggest factor.

      It means a LOT to me to hear that you appreciate my posts and share them too! Thanks you SO much for letting me know. Naturally, I try not to have my ego too invested, but I’m just a normal being and appreciation is greatly appreciated! Thank you, Pamela. Wishing you well.

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