The time of my life, learning to slow down

flow of the river
flow of the river

Yesterday was Guru-Purnima, and I recollect the last Guru Purnima, that I spent with my spiritual Guru.
She smiled and invited me in, “come in my Rewa”
I am contemplating on water,” she said, “when you came in I was thinking of the river Narmada” well experience taught me, there was more to come, “when a powerful river is made to flow at pace that is not hers, or a direction where she does not go naturally the faults in her bed play up. You have earthquakes and floods ever thought of it.”
Well not that I could see the analogy and what it had to do with me. After tea and samosa, she softly told me, “flow your flow child, you have forgotten to just flow. You have been flowing to the rhythm drummed by another, the faults in your bed will show up causing great upheavals and disasters that’s not what you are here for.”
Now I get what she is trying to tell me, all my life I have been taught to value speed, and getting things done quickly. Doing is more valuable than being, forging ahead at hurried pace, in search of some elusive sense of fulfilment which turns made me increasingly harried and disconnected. Somewhere I failed to notice the simple beauty of living.
There were times when I was forced to slow down rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life. Like instead of eating as I loaded the washing machine and dried clothes sitting at the table, enjoying my culinary creation and the nourishment it provided. A root canal well-done, or a well written article, appreciating a thinking shared by an author in a book, I realize is a great source of pleasure. It was as if I had gifted myself time—time to indulge my curiosity, to enjoy the moment of the squirrel munching on the ledge of my balcony. To connect with friend I have not met in ages.
It has been difficult to unlearn the belief that a life savoured slowly need not be passive inefficient or slothful. Conducting myself at a slower pace actually enabled me to be selective in how I spend my time and to fully appreciate each passing movement.
Even occasions that demand haste, minutes pause allowed me to centre myself, not only did it fortify me to act but also allowed me contingency. I have been able to throw to the banks out of my stream those commitments that do not benefit me in any way. This gives me time to relish morning rituals, linger over quality time with loved ones and immerse wholeheartedly in our work and advantage of opportunities to nurture myself every single day.
Of course it is challenging to avoid giving in to the temptation to rush, particularly to a self-flattering overflowing agenda. Yet when I do step back and get into my relaxed tempo I find my mind and heart-moving into deeper levels of awareness and it allows me to discover the true gloriousness of being alive.

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