Some years ago, I read a book called “Stopping “ by David Kudtz. It made an impression on me, I think mainly because I rarely did – stop, that is! And, for a short while, I did put some “stops” into my life – times when I did nothing, and just allowed life to go by for an hour or two – but it didn’t really stick as a habit.
Now having just spent some time in one of my favourite places, Provence in France, I have realised that one of the reasons I love it there is because the cultural habit is going slow. I may not have learnt to stop, but I’m pretty good at going slow some of the time, and I’m inclined to increase the habit.
When you sit down in a pavement café, the waiters assume you are going slow, so they don’t rush to serve you, or to ask for payment. This is not poor service, it’s respectful service, respecting your right to go slow.
It is easy to become impatient when you are used to an “instant response and action” type of life, yet relax into the go slow culture, and you begin to notice the advantages:
- Proper attention paid to detail – the arrangement of food, the laying of the table
- Time for contact between human beings – smiles, conversations
- Things get done, effectively and pleasantly
- No tempers of frustration, but a tranquil atmosphere
- A sense of spaciousness in time, instead of it rushing by
- Room to notice what’s happening around you
OK, it may not be appropriate in our culture to run on “go slow” time all the time. And sometimes, we may give ourselves permission to slow down for an hour or two in the day, and take that time to reflect, to refresh ourselves.
I love go slow starts to the day, with time to consider, before rushing into action. And gardening is definitely a go slow activity for me. Maybe it is reading the Sunday newspaper, or having a meal or drink with friends for you.
And how else can we put some go slow time into our busy lives? I intend to experiment, because I feel so much more as if I’m living my life when I go slow for a while. I also regain perspective, and feel refreshed by that change of pace. Why not join me in the experimentation, and see what some “going slow” does for you!!