What I Learned from Slowing Down
On a daily basis, there are tragic events happening all across the world. We read it in the newspaper, see it on television, hear it on the radio, and even see it on our Twitter feeds. These tragic events, even from just reading about them, can make us feel sad, depressed and even helpless.
Reading about all of the atrocities in the world makes me want to give as many kids water, education, electricity and Internet access as possible. Yet I also feel trapped in my own world. I am frozen in ice about how to act. I want to help, but it really is not time for me to do so.
I want to get rid of these feelings of angst toward helping to solve such large world issues. But how?
Because I often feel unable and unready to start helping to solve these issues, I find myself at a standstill. How can I read about these issues on a regular basis and not let it affect the way I think and live? Sometimes I’ll read an article about a bombing, or a shooting, and feel helpless for hours.
The issues will continue to grow if we don’t take action. This standstill is a place where nothing happens. We want to help but feel helpless. We want to show the world more love, but it seems to be just out of reach. We must focus our love on our lives and the lives immediately around us. Our daily interactions shape how we feel about the world.
How do we keep our lives on the path they are traveling on, but rid of the sadness and destruction our world has in it? The answer is inside you. It always was, and it will always be. It is sitting there, waiting for you to discover it. It may even peek its head out at times and say hello.
What I am talking about here cannot be described in a single word, for it is an immense overwhelming feeling of warmth, satisfaction and beauty. The closest single word in the English language is love. Love is the answer for all the cruelty in the world. This does not mean that you are to ignore your dissatisfactions with the world; it simply means that you are counterbalancing them with more appreciation of the beauty in your life.
The world is an absolutely beautiful place to be. We are lucky to be alive now, witnessing a changing of the ages into a more peaceful and mindful world. People are smiling, the sun is shining, and I can feel the pulse of the people around me.
Here are a few activities that I partake in that help me to see the beauty in the world.
First, I love watching animals. Whether I’m watching two dogs chasing each other around the park during my lunch break, or getting up close and personal with a cicada and studying its colors and patterns, I am always on the hunt to see how other life forms act — the squirrels beginning to forage for the winter, the cats beginning to hide as the colder air surrounds us. Seeing these things reminds me of the simplicity of life, which is so beautiful.
Next is watching the carefree lifestyle of children. They so effortlessly frolic to and fro, falling down, getting back up, running, sitting, and yelling out unrecognizable phrases. Watching a new life begin to find his or her path is absolutely beautiful. There is no compassion like a mother’s love, and seeing that in action often makes something inside us feel different.
Watching nature change is definitely on my list of ways to see more beauty in the world. Seeing a river flow, or noticing how the leaves are changing color or falling off of the trees. Noticing how the trees sway in the wind, and the sounds the wind makes when it howls. This is beauty. This is love.
Focusing on these little moments of love will help bring clarity, love and appreciation into your life. You will focus less on the moments that you cannot control and more onto the ones you can. You will feel surrounded with so much more life force.
Puppies photo available from Shutterstock
Cron, M. (2018). What I Learned from Slowing Down. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-i-learned-from-slowing-down/