You reach a point in life where you realise that it is time to slow down. The old cliche of stopping to smell the flowers has an intrinsic truth with it that is powerful in its simplicity. Taken literally, I see flowers everywhere I go – in pots, on windowsills, in gardens, and in flower shops, but how often do I stop to admire and really look. As I write this, there are red flowers peeking into the conservatory from the balcony, the main bush slowly losing its leaves to the changing season. The Peace Lily growing in the living room has sprouted a second bloom, much to my delight.
Flowering plants around the house are the main reason I stopped buying cut flowers. Not only do they last longer, but are also a source of pride, a sense of accomplishment of having nurtured something into a state of fulfilment. (So yes, coffee powder and cold tea do indeed work as fertilisers!). More importantly, one cannot force plants to do as the human will desires. They will do whatever they want in their own good time, and there is a valuable lesson in there somewhere.
It is impossible to flourish and bloom under pressure and on demand.
Life just does not work that way.
Rushing through something, or even worse – into something, always gets me into trouble. I lose track of the details, get confused with the whole picture, and tend to gloss over the important moments while trying to keep up with the mad pace.
I need a slower pace to savor the moment, tickle all the senses, and simply BE. If that means fewer activities and events, then so be it. I seek, no, let me re-phrase that, I need days of silence.
Here is my checklist of things I have neglected over the years while being caught up in the rat-race. Join me in an effort to untangle life, and ask yourself when was the last time you…
* read a book for pleasure
* cooked something completely new for your tastebuds’
* learned a new skill
* visited someone old and sick
* comforted a person in pain
* taught a child a new skill
* gave up your seat on the subway
* offered to do the groceries for your aged neighbour
* bought the homeless person on the street a proper meal
* bought an injured animal to the vet or a shelter
* re-potted a plant
* cleaned out your basement / attic /storage room
* donated old clothes to charity
* hugged a goose
* kissed a sunflower
* stomped around in the mud
* danced in the rain
* discovered something new about your city
* gotten in touch with old friends
* closed a chapter in your life
* made plans for an adventure holiday
* went on retreat
* visited your long-lost favourite bakery
* indulged in ice cream and popcorn while crying over a movie
*de-cluttered your e-mail inbox ?
If you have not done any of the above in over a year or worse, a decade, it is time to slow down, ignore the deadlines, and pamper your soul.