In previous years I have chosen a word to hold onto for the year, something to focus on and turn to for inspiration, for example in 2017 my word for the year was ‘Ease’. However at the start of 2018 I couldn’t settle on a word, but as the year has gone on there has been one word that has kept coming into focus. It has become apparent that the word very much needed for this season of my life is ‘Faith’.
The word ‘Faith’ and its meaning can take quite a lot of unpicking… it can mean vastly different things to everyone. It is a word that can mean so much to so many.
Faith can be elusive to some but for others it can be the one thing that underpins all their choices.
Just a quick one from me today to let you know that I have put together a free guide to Slow Living in our Digital Age to help you be more mindful with your time online and on your handheld devices.
Our phones are brilliant at keeping us connected but we need to find a healthy and happy balance and make sure we are intentional with how we use them so that the time we do spend online is productive and positive.
Sometimes I think music is my church. It’s the place I go to, to feel that everything is connected and intertwined, a place to find and feel something outside of myself, a higher state of consciousness. It’s also a place to get reflective and have some space to think about what is happening in my life and to let the weekly/daily happenings settle. Finally, it’s something to turn to when things don’t make sense and I feel a little lost.
Time and time again I have listened to music and found the answers to questions that weren’t even fully formed in my mind. Music has the ability to express things that words alone cannot.
I shared this quote a while ago in my Facebook Group Seeking Slow and it seemed to resonate with lots of you…”Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese Proverb
I therefore thought it would be useful to unpick this concept a little more, and a good starting point is learning to recognise how we physically hold tension in our body.
We need to understand the difference between tension and relaxation and understand how to navigate from one to the other.
Lots of us walk about holding tension in our body without even realising it. Sometimes tension becomes so habitual that we always ‘hold’ our body that way, it then feels completely normal to us. It’s only when we give our bodies the space and time to deeply relax that we can realise what released feels like. And by comparison, we can know what tension is. They are at the opposite ends of the spectrum and in some ways one allows the other.
Hurrying is such an unhelpful feeling but one that is familiar to all of us. Lots of folk seem to be playing catch up this week, myself included. It can be that way after a school holiday, right? We all spent the Easter holiday juggling (and loving) having the kids at home but also keeping on top of normal stuff too, be it work, or other projects. That unhelpful sense of being behind can swiftly spiral into rushing, which then turns into stress and anxiety.
We have also all had those mornings were the tasks we are doing have just taken longer than we thought, or something unforeseen happens that means you get lots less done. One morning this week my washing machine started leaking, luckily I was right there in the kitchen so managed to stop it pretty quickly, but there was still a good 40 minutes of mopping up water and organising someone to come and fix the machine that I hadn’t planned for.
Two frustrating mornings and a sense of being behind before I had even begun got me in a really negative head space for working. It got me thinking about why we hurry in the first place and how we can avoid hurrying altogether. There must be things we can do differently with how we approach our days and how we mange our time so we are present and relaxed whilst also being productive. Also, what if hurrying has become so habitual to you that you are in a rushing rut? How do we shake off that hurried feeling, do more things slowly and hurry less….