In today’s Mid Week Mindful Moment I wanted to ask you your thoughts on Slow and Mindful. Mindful has been kicked around quite a bit as the new catchphrase and you might already be implementing some mindful strategies, but what about slow? What about Slow and Mindful? The practice of the two together is where I want to go today.
Recently, I read a blog that talked about 10 things we can do everyday to feel better. Guess what? Slow wasn’t on the list. Is it on yours? If you are like most people, probably not. We tend to be in a constant flux of hurry. Hurry to work, hurry to eat, hurry to get our workout in so we can hurry to our next destination. Sometimes even our vacations have us running so much that we have to come home to relax.
This constant pressure of hurry that we place on ourselves activates our brain into future minded thinking, thus creating feelings of stress and anxiety. This is why I am a firm believer of making time in your day for slow and mindful. I think fast is overplayed. It can create a sense that we can be more or have more if we just go faster. Take a minute and see if you can pull some thoughts out of your mind. I’ll give you some examples of things I tell myself: “Could this line move any slower?” “I need to hurry and get this done so I can…” “I hit EVERY red light trying to get here!” “I don’t have time for this!”
The truth is, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. Mindfulness and Slow each have a place in our day to help us. Taking time to read a page or two from a book, to ponder about what the bigger picture of our life actually is or to take the time to look at and to taste the food we are putting into our mouths three times a day can be the slow, mindful practice that helps to keep those anxious moments at bay.
In my yoga classes and workshops I teach the practice of taking two minutes to be mindful and slow. Wait a second. Did you think I was going to ask you to be slow ALL day? No way! Just take a short time to fit the practice in. Here are 10 ways to fit the practice of Mindful and Slow in. Pick a couple to try. Observe how it feels. These 2 minutes could be excruciating to start with! Stick with it, though, and be curious to see if you begin to feel different.
1. Repeat a mantra: “Peace begins with me.” Speak slowly.
2. Legs up the wall. Take the full 2 minutes here. (See photo)
3. Doodle or draw.
4. Breathe: Inhale, hold for a couple of seconds, exhale. Repeat until your red light turns green or until it is your turn when in line somewhere.
5. Read a page or two of a book during lunch.
6. Go outside and walk around the block. Take the time to notice something new about your surroundings.
7. Be the silent observer of your thoughts. What do you actually tell yourself? Be gentle. This is only a time of noticing.
8. Watch the sun set or rise.
9. Look and observe your next meal. Notice the colors, tastes and textures of you food.
10. Give yourself a shoulder rub. This feels really good.
Let’s begin to live our lives more balanced by inviting in slow and mindful. Namaste. Janay-