Life moves fast. It’s an inevitable truth we face. Time waits for no one. We live in a society where rushing is our default mode. From rushing through traffic, rushing into work, to wanting dreams and plans to happen in a blink of an eye, we are conditioned to live in a hurried fashion.
It was about 3 years ago I realized how much I was missing out on my own world. I was missing out on it because I was rushing through it. I wasn’t stopping to smell the roses or listen to the sounds of my city. That’s when it hit me. I didn’t want to live like this. I didn’t want to wake up 10 years from now not knowing how my life unfolded. I could see the pattern my life was taking. It was the same, comfortable routine that seemed to blur into a monotonous way of life. I was beginning to simply exist and not fully live.
I believe for us to fully live our lives, we have got to learn how to live slow. What is living slow Danae? Before I answer that, let me point out what living slow is not (at least in my opinion). Living slow is not laziness. It is not procrastination. Living slow is not a passive attitude. I believe living slow is a perspective shift. It is the active changing of our minds from the need to rush through everything. It is from the perspective shift that we can begin to make daily changes in how we do life.
Living slow is being in the moment. It is waking up Monday, and being fully present with Monday. Even though you know there’s an entire week ahead, the day before you is the day you fully give yourself. Living slow is not ignoring the future. It is knowing there is a future and choosing to be intentional with the now to fortify what’s ahead.
Living slow is being present. Now, I’ll be honest living present nowadays is super hard. We live in a time where every moment, event, project, thought is captured and shared on social media. We get to jump into people’s lives through Instastories and Snapchat. We get to follow families and business owners through their photographs and youtube videos. It is easy to escape our lives and enter someone else’s small sketch of life. We end up being more present for the person we only know through likes and comments, and not being present with our own lives and the hearts that are in it. To me, that's a little scary and sad.
Now, hear me out, I'm not bashing social media or sharing in those spaces, I think social media when used well is a powerful tool. I share tons on social media and to be honest, I used to overshare on social media. But, as I get older, I am noticing how much of our time and lives are centered and shaped by it. I get sad and kinda frustrated when I see a group of people in a room together and instead of engaging with one another face to face, they are glued to their phones. I've been 10000000000% guilty of doing this. I did this last week, which frustrated me. But, It is moments like that that make me wonder, what if we put the phone down? What if instead trying to capture the "perfect moment" of what's happening, we live what's happening? I believe living slow helps us to do that. It helps us decide what moments need to be captured and shared, what moments just need to be lived.
Living slow gives room for what matters. There is a stripping down that happens when we choose to live slow. Living slow is intentional. It is powerful. It is saying yes to your world, to your life. There are times when I’ll skip going to the closest metro station to get home and instead I’ll walk a mile or two through the city and just watch her. I’ll listen to her traffic and watch the people at happy hour. I’ll take in her lights and sounds and be in that moment. I simply let myself be where I am. When we slow down and take our lives in one day at a time, there is so much we open ourselves up to discover about ourselves, our world, and the people in it.
So, what is living slow? Living slow is being present. It is being intentional with yourself and your world. It is showing up where you are knowing that what you steward here solidifies what comes next. Living slow is not passive, but active. It is planning ahead while being in intentional now.
Living slow is life fully lived.
Danae Carson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of This Wondrous Life. With a passion for creativity, dreams, and community you will find in the content she creates an eagerness for others to be awaken to their dreams and creativity. When she isn't busy running This Wondrous Life, Danae can be found working a 9-5 in Washington, D.C. and when she's not there, she can be found making areopress coffee at home, brainstorming and dreaming up how to best live present with those around her. Danae resides in the suburbs of Maryland. To learn more about her and This Wondrous Life, you can follow the journey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!