Taking the Slow Path (On Purpose)
Over the years our society has changed considerably. For instance, if we look around today and ask ourselves what society values most, most likely we will come up with answers like speed, instant gratification, time-saving efficiency, and basically anything that gets us to our destination all the faster and in the shortest way possible. In fact, we have become so busy with our day-to-day that I think sometimes, as a collective, we simply forget to just be still for a moment and breathe life in.
So, I know that what I am about to suggest will be quite uncomfortable for a lot of people, but I think that it is something worth exploring further, if for no other reason than the simple sake of improving our overall quality of life. Therefore, to put it candidly, I think we all need to slow the F down.
If we think back to time-honored traditions across all cultures, we will notice that many of the most revered rituals have to do with savoring the moment, taking the extra time, making the extra effort, and allowing things to just simmer to completion. And whether we’re talking about cooking a long-cherished family recipe passed down through the generations, or a spiritual ceremony practiced by our ancestors throughout the ages, the slow road seems to be the one that has been most favored and respected.
So, what exactly are we missing here? If we think that faster is always better, are we simply smarter than the generations that came before us? Is it simply a matter of being more advanced with our technology? Do we think that we’ve found a better way of doing life? Well, if we do think that we have found a better way, based on the statistics in recent years having to do with an uptick in divorces, the opioid crisis, and a general degree of unhappiness witnessed in society at large, I am not really sure if “faster” has actually turned out to be better after all.
Consequently, what does it actually mean to take the slow path? Well, it means choosing to commit to a time-honored process with total presence and patience, instead of just rushing to get it all done. It means taking our time (on purpose), versus thinking up ways to get “there” faster. And it means turning our goal from getting results (as our prime motivator), to simply enjoying the process. If you think about it, isn’t most of what we do a process anyway? I mean, even when we get to the results that we’ve been striving for, don’t we then just move on to the next goal? Think about it, if we are constantly moving from goal to goal, when will we ever have the time to actually enjoy anything?
I know that many will say that their schedules are way too hectic to have the luxury of actually taking their time with anything these days. But when we narrow our priorities to the things that truly matter to us the most, it will inevitably make it so much easier for us to find the time to do those things with patience and love. The thing about "being too busy" is that there will always be some sort of excuse around the corner if we look for one, so we might as well make the time to stop and smell the roses every chance that we can get.
If we are being truly honest with ourselves, I think most of us take on way more than we actually need to, whether it’s taking on a disproportionate amount of responsibilities (that can be easily delegated if we simply give up some control), or it’s making unimportant things too much of a priority in our lives. Yet, when we know what is truly important, that is when it becomes so much easier to make the time to slow things down so that we can actually enjoy the experiences before us.
I think this is a particularly important lesson to teach to future generations, because there are far too many distractions available these days to make “quick” and “instant” the norm. So we must do everything that we can to set a good example in order to demonstrate that it is in the slow and the savored that true meaning can be appreciated.
Consequently, when we are in the midst of enjoying the process of whatever we are choosing to do, somehow everything becomes clearer and more inspired, which inevitably leads to efficiency too. Therefore, we needn’t worry about wasting our time taking the slow or long path because, in taking that time to slow things down, everything starts to make a lot more sense. Our thoughts get clearer. And all of the unimportant distractions seem to fall away as we become more and more aware of all of the things that we actually need (and want) to do.
At the end of the day, there are certain things that we simply cannot rush. Sure, we can try, but the outcome will never be the same. The obvious example would be having a baby. To speed up the process would be absurd, not to mention dangerous. There is something called the law of gestation, and this law is what dictates how long it will take for something to come to maturation. And whether it’s a baby, a flower, homemade pasta, or a low and slow simmering stew, some things just take longer to come to fruition. Yet, it is in that very process that the creation of perfection will eventually form.
So, then, what can you choose to do today that is intentionally slow-paced? Maybe it’s assembling a puzzle, one piece at a time. Perhaps you can knit something. Maybe you can take up a fine art project. Maybe you can hand wash some linen napkins and then iron them out, just because. You might say that you don’t have the time for these seemingly "trivial" things, but if you truly look at your life from the perspective of your priorities and choices, you will likely find at least some items from your list that may not be all that important after all.
For the record, slowing our pace from time-to-time is also an excellent way to mitigate stress, as well as balance our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. So, why not treat it like a meditation? If you don’t like to meditate, or you don’t feel like you have the time, why not take a mundane chore that you “have to” do, and turn that into a slow meditative experience instead? Have to wash the dishes? Great. Do it by hand, slowly, one dish at a time, mindfully lathering the soap, rinsing with consciousness, and then laying each dish out to dry. Have to do the laundry? Fabulous. Make soaking and washing your delicates into a ritual, and take your time doing it with intention. Have to make dinner? Spectacular. Focus on each ingredient as you infuse each action with love and care. You see, everything is made of energy first and foremost and, therefore, any energy that you put into whatever you do will be felt across the board. As such, there is always a way that you can intentionally choose to slow things down, and as long as you do it with mindfulness and purpose, you will gain all of the benefits you could ever want from the process.
Ironically, when you relax the pressure and the hurry, you also remove any desperate energy that is attached to you receiving your specific results. This, in turn, actually "speeds up" your desired manifestation process because, when you are busy enjoying the process, you end up releasing your expectations and, therefore, your resistance to that which you desire to manifest the most. Your energy then becomes free to simply enjoy and accept the present moment just as it is, right here, right now, with what you are presently experiencing and doing, which leads you to receive even more of what you love, with ease and joy and even more consistency than ever before.
The thing is, whatever we are rushing towards we are only rushing towards it because we want to experience a certain outcome. But, in reality, our true desire is to experience a certain feeling that we believe that outcome will conjure. But what we often fail to realize is that this same feeling that we desire to cultivate from achieving our desired results is also available to us at any moment in a multitude of ways. So, when we slow down, even just a tiny bit, that is when we will start to recognize that the feeling that we desire to manifest can actually be achieved right where we are. And when we get into that feeling more and more, that is when we will start to manifest even more complementary outcomes that will express that same feeling over and over again.
So, go ahead, take the slower and longer road from time-to-time. Take the road less travelled or the detour and see what joys you find along your way. For, if you slow thing down, even a little bit, I am certain that you will not regret it.