Slow Down and Enjoy

slow down to enjoy life more

What’s with the rush? Why are we always in a hurry to go somewhere and do something?

We live fast. Even if we don’t do much, we manage to be busy setting goals, adding new unnecessary items to our to-do lists, aiming higher, engaging in different activities and working all the time.

We end up having no time at all. And when we do, we don’t even know how to use it properly because we’ve forgotten what it is to just stop, breathe and enjoy.

The problem

There is always something to be done, someone to meet, an event to join, things to read and write and so on. We rush from one thing to another without taking a breath, without even thinking about it. The autopilot is on and the only emotions we remember lately are stress (from all the haste), anxiety (for the things left undone), disappointment (when something is done wrong or there is no time for it).

Here is how Benjamin Hoff describes it in his spectacular book “The Tao of Pooh”.

He refers to people who are always doing something as Busy Backson because throughout the book he uses simple examples to explain the principles of Taoism.
Below you can see how he described perfectly today’s average person.

The Bisy Backson is always going somewhere,
somewhere he hasn’t been. Anywhere but where he is.
The Bisy Backson is almost desperately active.

He works when he works, works when he exercises,
 and, more often than not, works when he plays.
 Work, work, work. All work and no play makes Backson a dull
boy. Kept up for long enough, it makes him dead, too.
He doesn’t go out for a walk, though; he doesn’t have time.

 The Bisy Backson has practically no time at all,
because he’s too busy wasting it by trying
to save it. And by trying to save every bit of it,
he ends up wasting the whole thing.

Of course, real progress involves growing and developing,
which involves changing inside, but that’s
something the inflexible Backson is unwilling to do.
The urge to grow and develop, present in all forms
of life, becomes perverted in the Bisy Backson’s
mind into a constant struggle to change everything
(the Bulldozer Backson) and everyone (the Bigoted
Backson) else but himself, and interfere with things
he has no business interfering with, including practically
every form of life on earth. 

The solution

Instead, we need to slow down. To eliminate the unnecessary from our life – the stress and worries, the tasks and activities that only waste our time. To learn how find simplicity in daily life and be mindful of what we’re doing at this moment.
Only this can help us enjoy life no matter what and thus make us happy and contented with it.

Taoism offers a simple yet powerful solution (again By B. Hoff):

Tao doesn’t force or interfere
with things, but lets them work in their own way,
to produce results naturally. Then whatever needs
to be done is done.

That doesn’t mean that the goals we have
don’t count. They do, mostly because they cause us
to go through the process, and it’s the process that
makes us wise, happy, or whatever. If we do things
in the wrong sort of way, it makes us miserable,
angry, confused, and things like that. The goal has
to be right for us, and it has to be beneficial, in
order to ensure a beneficial process. But aside from
that, it’s really the process that’s important. Enjoyment
of the process is the secret that erases the
myths of the Great Reward and Saving Time. Perhaps
this can help to explain the everyday significance
of the word Tao, the Way. 

What could we call that moment before we
begin to eat the honey? Some would call it anticipation,
but we think it’s more than that. We would
call it awareness. It’s when we become happy and
realize it, if only for an instant. By Enjoying the
Process, we can stretch that awareness out so that
it’s no longer only a moment, but covers the whole
thing. Then we can have a lot of fun. Just like Pooh.

So instead of rushing into the new day, we should embrace it slowly, with a smile and anticipation. Because time is on our side. We control it. And by enjoying the present moment we use it wisely. By being mindful of what we do, we do it better and find more pleasure.

Even the toughest task can become a moment of joy if we do it with the right attitude. Sometimes we need to accept things as they are, not try to change them. This will give us the peace and harmony we’re looking for and therefore will be contented.

Another thing that always helps is gratefulness. Being happy with what you have now, appreciation and realizing how more than enough it is, is one of the secrets to happiness and success.
Gratitude is so easy and yet so rare. If we all start being thankful and focus on what we have rather than what else we need, the less will become more, all the empty spaces will be filled and everything will be in place.

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