Attending to Silent Moments

Slow down.

There are many things in this world that are at their most beautiful when moving at a fast pace. Deer and other swift animals, lightning flashes, rushing rivers, sports cars, when the drummer gets some, meteors flashing across the sky, a football player running away from the field, the list impressively goes on and on.

It is important to note though that the Beauty of the Fast serves a purpose. There is rational reason behind the speed, and this reason is a functional part of the beauty.

Speed for speed’s sake is pretty much the opposite of that. Driving dangerously fast just because you can is not a beautiful sight to witness. Becoming upset about the long lines at the grocery store and taking it out on those around you (your family, the cashier, fellow shoppers, YOURSELF) is not beautiful. Honking the horn because the car in front of you hasn’t immediately noticed the light has changed, creates a level of anxiety within both of you that will take time to recover from. More time than you would have spent waiting for the person to stop texting long enough to recognize the light has changed.

Sometimes I find myself in an unnecessary hurry and am grateful for the ability to recognize how the added stress and pressure creates negative ripples around me. When I am feeling rushed, the energy is released and absorbed by all with whom I come into contact. This happens quite often but just as often is also the opportunity to slow down. This opportunity presents itself throughout the day, once we become determined to be more responsible for how we feel and the energy we release. I’ve learned that I do not have to go from lane to lane trying to outpace the cars around me, or get up in arms when the lady at the Jamaican restaurant is taking her sweet Caribbean time behind the counter. I’ve learned that it is more important to enjoy myself during these times, focus on the beauty that is unfolding in the moment, and be available for the lessons that Life is sending my way.

You’re not available when you’re moving fast, when you’re on the go. It’s always going to be about getting it done so you can move on to the next thing. How does God, or Life, or your Inner Voice speak to you if you’re speeding by all of the silent moments?

The long line at the grocery store is a silent moment. Take the time to listen to yourself, to the people around you, to the health magazine on the rack. Practice deep breaths. Be there.

The three minutes you save by turning a 25 minute drive to work into a 22 minute drive to work with effective constant lane changing and speed limit exceeding is a silent moment. It’s three more minutes to yourself before the outside world demands something of you. It is three more minutes to listen to your favorite song, or morning talk show host, or feel the wind against your skin.

Waiting for your significant other to finish getting ready to leave the house is a silent moment. It is time to sit and reflect on what you’ve done with your day. Or it could be used to visualize how you would like your time out of the home to unfold.

Waiting for a machine to become available at the gym is a silent moment. It could be time to prepare your mind and body for what is to come. It could be time to practice breathing, an important part of the workout routine. It could be a time to check out different exercises being done by the far more shape people all around you.

On hold with the cable company is a silent moment.

Commercial breaks are silent moments.

Our lives are filled with silent moments; find them, create them, return to yourself again in them.

The silent moments are the beautiful ones; rarely is it loud and beautiful. And even rarer is it fast without purpose and beautiful.

So all I’m saying is you are already beautiful, I just hope you take the time to stop and notice it often enough.


Slow Down Quotes to Meditate on throughout the Day

“Always remember to slow down in life; live, breathe, and learn; take a look around you whenever you have time and never forget everything and every person that has the least place within your heart.”

“It is important from time to time to slow down, to go away by yourself, and simply be.”

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.”

But the poet is willing to stop anywhere. . . . And it’s that willingness to slow down and examine the mysterious bits of fluff in our lives that is the poet’s interest.”

“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.”

“Something we aspire to, slow down and watch yourself. We all can become a bit more classy, it is a choice and an action.”