“Slow down everyone, you’re moving too fast” - Jack Johnson, Inaudible Melodies
Most of our problems come from this simple fact: we’re all moving too fast.
This was one my biggest personal realizations of 2018. I’d been looking outside myself, going a thousand miles an hour, trying to find this “thing” that was happiness and I could sometimes taste it in moments but never hold onto it. The moments where I could taste it were often in meditation.
My fascination with meditation contrasts with my natural wiring to never stop. I come by it naturally, as my Dad likes to move a million miles an hour. That’s why he was a rock climber, a ski patrolman, an adventurer, and a successful businessman. He, like many others, finds stillness in the purity of an adrenaline-filled moments like closing a deal or helicopter skiing in knee deep powder.
Since going slow was never his speed, as I grew up, it didn’t become mine. I developed a success-driven mentality fueled by doing, and I pretty much avoided stillness.
The thing is, that’s not my nature. All the doing was bringing me accomplishments and momentary satisfaction, but not inner peace.
That’s why I fell in love with meditation right away when I first started 7 years ago. It forced me to sit and do nothing. The practice gave me a structure that forced me to become present with my thoughts.
Since then, I’ve been meditating almost every day. While I was finding increasing levels of calmness and inner peace, for the most part my life still felt overly rushed. Mixed in with moments and even days of deep peace. But it was elusive, and I longed to know the key. Then, earlier this year, I had a revelation.
It was on a vision quest of Native American style. I prepared for 5 months leading up to it with my spiritual guide, and then spent 2 days deep in the wilderness. It was intense. It involved fasting and many miles of wandering. It was done in a very systematic way. It was raw, scary, exhilarating, and it taught me more than I’ve learned in any other experience. Don’t try this on your own by the way - it’s important to have a spiritual guide to help you through the preparation and follow up process.
Anyways, at one point on that vision question I sat for 8 hours in meditation. In that sitting, I found a deep stillness. A stillness like I had never found before. It was the most peaceful thing I’ve ever felt. I was so in tune with myself and with nature. It wasn’t magic, it was just me being completely present. And it felt amazing.
That’s when I realized that everything I ever wanted was right in front of my eyes the whole time. I had just been going too fast to realize it.
Since coming back, that stillness has gradually faded, and this week I realized that I’d moved pretty far away from it. Despite a solid daily meditation practice, it’s hard to cultivate that deep, lasting joy when you work a corporate job and live in a bustling city. But with a little focus and energy, you can cultivate more peace even in your busy life.
There is a deep stillness inside you and it is right under your nose, you are simply moving too fast to recognize it.
A huge part of life, in my opinion, is learning how to find that peace. Our lives will flash before us before we know it, and the whole point will have been to enjoy the ride.
So please, slow down sometimes.
When you slow down and tune into the present moment, good things start to happen.
You stop thinking so much, and you start noticing things.
The tension in your body releases.
Life becomes more fun.
You feel lighter.
Doesn’t that sound nice during the Holidays?
If you want to slow down, I’ve got 2 simple tips for you.
First, try to build a meditation habit into your day. Even if it’s only a few minutes. It will help you develop the ability to slow down on command.
Second, try to notice the feeling of your feet as you walk throughout your day. See if you can feel your toes. By tuning into the sensations in your feet, you’ll be less tuned into the chatter in your head.
If you want to learn other strategies for slowing down, I’ll give you 30 minutes of my time to help you come up with a plan at absolutely no cost (you can even book a time on my website). It’d be my greatest joy to talk with you about the path to inner peace.
Slowing down now,