Enjoying a meditative, mindful, slow experience.
If you have been feeling stressed, run down, worn out or just in need of some nurturing then I would highly recommend taking a “slow day”.
You don’t necessarily need to be at home for a slow day, or you don’t need to do anything in particular. The idea of a slow day is that life slows down for that one day. Everything you do, think about and enjoy happens more slowly than usual. You leave the pressure of time behind and practise feeling abundant with your time.
On a slow day you might do the washing, go to the supermarket, do the banking, go to work, but everything you do has a kind of meditative and mindful quality to it, and if you don’t get things done, you don’t mind. When you place your dirty clothes in the washing machine, and sort the colours, you might think thoughts of gratitude that you have so many clothes to keep you warm. Feel happy that you have a machine that does the washing for you, and hang your clothes carefully instead of rushing onto the next job. Your whole day becomes a moving meditation!
There are two things that are definitely not allowed on a slow day and they are to rush and stress. If you find yourself doing either then remind yourself that you have full permission to go back to these habits tomorrow, but that just for today, such thoughts and actions are to be kept at bay. If it helps you might have a list of things that are worrying you nearby and add to the list each time you start stressing about something, knowing and trusting that it will be attended to in some way tomorrow, (even if it’s just going to be continuing to worry about it). Strangely, allowing ourselves this kind of day helps us gain new perspectives on some of the things we worry about!
On your slow day take great pleasure in anything you do. If you complete a piece of work, allow yourself to feel great about it and proud of your achievement. If you work in a work environment where this kind of practice is not appropriate, then choose to have your slow day on a weekend.
You might like to add some nurturing touches to your slow day; some soft music in the background, a candle lit to symbolize the intention of sacred love and nurturing that you are creating on this day.
Most of all make this a day of gratitude for all that you are and all that you have. Each action and thing you hold that day becomes significant.
Celebrate the sacredness of who you are and all that you do!!
You will find that your slow day will:
-Relax and energize you
-Increase your levels of happiness and optimism
-Bring greater clarity around priorities in your life
-Illuminate solutions to problems without much mental effort
-Improve your relationships since you will feel happier.
If you suffer from depression or anxiety and a whole day feels too much or you fear that this time might bring up sadness or grief, then shorten your slow time to a few hours and plan what you are going to do for that time. Eg. go for a walk with the dog, do some gardening, cook a nice meal. So that although you are unhurried, your activities are set and you know what is going to happen. Background music can also help with keeping negative thoughts at bay.
I would love to hear how you go.
Founder & Principal – ACMM