Slow Down

I was cutting peppers the other day, rushing to get everything together for my pot of soup and feeling rather distracted, when I suddenly looked down, and really saw what was in front of me.

The bright red of those peppers, combined with the green plants sitting on my counter were such a fresh, appealing scene right before me, and I hadn’t even noticed it.

Oh, that happens far too often! All of those beautiful, wonderful, simple things that are easy to miss because life gets hectic.

I’m reading an absolutely fantastic book right now called Slowing Down to the Speed of Life. I found it at the MCC store for 25 cents, and I will be forever grateful to whoever donated it to MCC!

It is just exactly what I’ve been needing to read right now. The authors talk about how we rush around, and multi-task, and try to fit so much into a day, that it leaves us feeling stressed, frazzled, and short-tempered. (That pretty much sums up where I was at when I picked up the book!)

I’ve been reading wonderful new ideas for how to slow down, and live in the moment – to notice the little things, like red peppers!

Slowing Down suggests that whenever we are feeling flustered, irritated, or stressed about something, it is a sign to us that we are trying to do too much at once, and it’s time to slow down and live in the moment.

The other day, I was late for an appointment, and got stuck in some crazy traffic. I was getting extremely impatient and fidgety, because there was nothing I could do about the frustration of my delay. My mind was whirling, and grumpiness was coming, when suddenly I became aware of what I was doing.

It was my signal! Time to get perspective, and stay in the moment.

I happened to glance to my left, and wouldn’t you know, right there was the most beautiful bush, covered in white blossoms.

I said to myself, “In this moment, that bush is very beautiful.” And really, this present moment is the only one that matters.

Everything in me started to unwind, and I began to look around, searching for anything else I could enjoy while I inched along in traffic.

And guess what? By some miracle, I was not late for my appointment after all. I could have gotten all worked up about something that didn’t even happen. I could have missed those flowers.

I could have missed the bright red peppers.

I could miss the sparkle in those big brown eyes when Kaylia asks me for another story.

I could miss the excitement in Anika’s voice when she tells me (in the greatest detail imaginable) about her latest idea.

Each moment is new and unique. You’ve never had this moment before, and you never will again. As you tap into the beauty of your constantly changing moments by becoming more oriented to the present one, you’ll find yourself struggling with your moments far less and replacing your judgments with love and appreciation. (p. 142, Slowing Down to the Speed of Life)

Be all there.

Allow the stress to remind you to get back to this moment, and what you can do in it.

Notice the beauty around you.

Chop some peppers!

Or whatever. But do it with your eyes open!