Thursday, December 17, 2009

Slow Down . . . You Move Too Fast

Slow down, you move too fast . . . you got to make the morning last . . . just kickin’ down the cobble stones . . . lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy . . . Simon and Garfunkle

How often do you feel groovy just walking down the street or getting to where you need to go? If you’re anything like me, you rarely even think of how you feel because you’re too busy thinking about what you have to do. I barely saw the world around me because I was moving so fast that my mind was always on the destination instead of the drive. I never put my foot on the break.

Full speed ahead may be an engine of productivity but taking even a minute to relax and enjoy the world around you is the fuel that feeds the soul. You don’t have to be on a snow capped mountain to stop and appreciate the beauty of life. There are “wow” moments and hidden treasures everywhere. You just have to slow down long enough to see them.

It happened for me when I started playing walking games with my son; kind of like the car games we would play as kids to make the time go by (now kids just watch videos in the car!). Little kids walk painfully slow which forces you to slow down, too. I thought the games would make the walk seem faster for me and be educational for my son but the opposite turned out to be true. I was the one getting the education and my son was the one passing the time.

It started by picking a different color for each day. During our walks, we had to call out everything we saw in that color. Kids have a fine radar for noticing things that adults take for granted and generally overlook entirely. Kids see things that we are closed off to and they are curious about everything. With the help of my son, I began to see things that I never noticed before and in the magic of the moment, my world went from flat to 3 dimensional, from grayscale to high definition color.

When my son picked purple, I didn’t think we would find much if anything, but we found a ton of stuff . . . A purple bike, a purple flower, the color purple in a flag, a purple flyer on a sign post . . . I saw incredible detail and I saw the picturesque landscape of the neighborhood I lived in for 10 years but never fully appreciated or realized. We had so much fun playing the color game that we switched it up and added different games to play along the way. Each day presented a new discovery and what were once tedious walks became whimsical adventures.  What hidden treasures will you discover today?

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