We work hard and fast to get good grades in high school in order to get into the best college, where we work even harder to be at the top of our class in order to maximize the chances of securing a high-paying job. If we are fortunate enough to accomplish that, we kick it up another notch and work long hours in order to maximize the possibility of promotions and pay raises or to become a partner at a prestigious law firm, where we will take on additional work and responsibilities. We move as quickly as we can now in order to be able to slow down and relax later.
We live in a fast-talking, fast-moving, fast-thinking world, reacting quickly to the variety of seemingly important responsibilities with which we task ourselves. Unless we choose to slow down and look around, continuing on at our current pace will be a long and endless plight. Pumping your brakes and allowing yourself a few moments of stillness often improves your sanity, your health, and your well-being. As children, my siblings and I were fortunate to spend our entire summers at our lake house in New Hampshire. Surrounded by majestic pine trees and pristine mountains, we enjoyed a landscape painting with the deepest and most vivid blues and greens imaginable. Evenings were spent relaxing in rocking chairs listening to echoes of loons, birds that screamed their affection for one another across the lake. Mesmerized by the warm sun and cool lake breezes, we consumed full days swimming and boating until our mother, fearing we might sprout fins, summoned our waterlogged bodies from the lake.
At the end of the day, with a beach towel wrapped tightly around my shoulders, I sat transfixed at the end of our driveway enjoying the warmth of the sun. Slight breezes sent chills through my body as sunshine replaced lake water evaporating from my skin. My heart was no longer racing from earlier activities, and my mind was no longer focused on where I needed to be or what I was going to do next. I was grateful to be back in Eden, if only for a short time, relaxing and enjoying the sweetness of doing nothing. With stillness and a quiet mind come creative thoughts and solutions. Practice slowing down your thoughts and enjoying the sweetness of doing nothing. Slowing down and adding more silence allow you to hear your inner voice more clearly. Following this voice will allow your happiness, which exists within you, to emerge.