Friday, March 12, 2010

Zen and the Art of Slowing Down

I want it now.

It is the cry of a whole generation that never has to wait for anything. Everything we want we can have almost instantaneously. We can download movies and TV to watch immediately on our phone. We can skip commercials on TV with our DVRS. We are living in a fast food nation where little to no thought is being given to the quality of what we ingest, just how quickly we can get it. We are living a 24/7 lifestyle, multitasking our way through our lives and not truly experiencing a moment of it. We have everything at our fingertips, and when we can’t get what we want right now, we start feeling anxious and wonder why not.

I was surfing through some blogs the other day and noticed one that sounded particularly discouraged. She acknowledged that she was losing about 1-2 pounds a week, but wanted advice on how to lose bigger numbers. Another wrote about not having the time to actually sit down for her meals. And I realized that as I was replying to her post that I was eating a salad at my desk at work while answering inbound calls, trying to catch up on some data entry and reading blogs at the same time- And that was supposed to have been my lunch hour!

It really makes me sad to realize that so many of us are so rushed that we are not able to truly savor this life that God gave us. And I know I’m guilty of it too. Maybe I’m just getting old and crotchety. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom now and trying to teach my son to be patient in a world that seems devoted to instant gratification. Whatever it is, I’m dropping out of that mind-set right now.

This need for speed is killing us. We have got to slow down people! We had a speaker come into our office a few months back who told us about how multitasking was bad for our health. Trying to do two things at once causes our cortisol levels to rise. Stress can be responsible for everything from burn-out to heart disease. Conventional wisdom used to tell us that anything worth having was worth waiting for and anything worth doing is worth doing right. So why are we rushing through our lives, doing too many things at once and doing none of them well? We have so much pressure put on us every day from our jobs, our husbands, our kids, our friends... but most of all from ourselves.

In my last post I talked about how I wanted to stop the compulsive behavior surrounding my eating and the differences between the naturally thin and the food obsessed. I think if I ever hope to get to that happy place in my life where I’m not completely freaked out by a large spread of yummy goodness that I need to make some changes to how I approach life in general. Writing that post really caused me to think. I realized that I put myself under incredible pressure everyday to be the best at my job, the best wife, the best mother, the best daughter – that it really wasn’t that surprising that the one person I let down and didn’t take care of was me. That simply can’t continue or I’ll be no good to anyone anymore.

I am going to try to make a conscience effort to bring more Zen into my life. I am making the choice to slow down and be present in the moment and enjoy my surroundings. I am giving up multitasking. I am going to eat more slowly and really enjoy my meals. I’m going to try to meditate at least once a day.

Now- take a deep breath.

Take another one.

Feel the air going in and out of your body.

Ahhhhhh. Doesn’t that feel good?


  1. That's part of my post to you yesterday; staying in the moment while eating. Also, more sleep. I used to get up at 5:15 and go online for 45 min. How stupid is that? I now set the clock 30 minutes later, don't go online, and use the extra 15 min. to snuggle with Mr. Sunny. Life is so short. We need to go to the park and simply SWING more. Feel the wind in our hair. Shut our eyes, and just enjoy being alive!

  2. Hi from New Zealand and another mainly Low Carb weight loss Blogger.

    I wish I knew at your age what you know. I wouldn't be in this position now. I first was put in contact with the value of Low Carbs for some people about 8 years ago. It works well but it has taken me a long time to come to terms with what seemed to me radical science. I now accept the science and am determined to make this my lifestyle while I still have some time to redeem the damage.

    Wrinkles, the deflated balloon thing threw me too. It took me about a year to get my silly head to accept good health is worth a few wrinkles. I like the wrinkles round my eyes. They are life lines, character lines, earned as I live. Why not the same with the wrinkles most people don't see?

    I have learned so much by being part of a weight Loss Blogger Community, namely HYC. Sometimes reading other people's Blogs is inspiring, other times it is a wake-up call and many times has pinpointed my own stinking thinking, wrong assumptions and attitudes.

    Your on my Reader so will keep in touch.