Have you ever had days where you rushed all day to get things done, and at the end of the day you couldn’t remember most of what you did? What was the point of that? When we have a hot to-do list we may get a lot done, but with the focus on the doing, we may lose our sense of being. The faster we go, the less we are likely to be aware of ourselves and of our experience in action. With less awareness we may have less efficiency, more mistakes and more opportunities for frustration, anger, and criticism.Some suggestions:
When we begin to feel harried, it may be time to consciously slow down and pay attention to what we are doing. With mindfulness, we may find that we enjoy what we are doing more than we would if we rushed it. We might even do a better job.
Practice slowing when you feel pressure, but the rush is psychological rather than actual. Don’t practice slowing in line at the grocery store or when gassing up your car. If people are waiting for you, get on with it, but when you can, move into a lower gear and turn up the consciousness.
Stop what you are doing and create the intention of doing it with more mindfulness.
Breathe more consciously. Slow down your breathing and allow it to become more relaxed and deeper.
Center yourself. Become aware of your body. Notice if you are off balance or tense. Move into a more balanced position. If you are standing, have your feet wide enough apart that you can shift from side to side easily, and unlock your knees. Going slow can help you to remember to be flexible and relaxed. If you are sitting, sit up straighter. Allow your spine to open up to a free flow of energy.
Move with intention. Whether you are washing dishes, sweeping the floor, repairing a machine or sorting papers, become more aware of the movements you make. Notice your intention to move and then the movement itself.
Allow yourself to move a little more gracefully than normal. Think about moving like a Tai Chi practitioner or a temple dancer.
Make your movement a prayer. Let your action connect you with a higher spiritual awareness.