A Lesson in the pleasure of slowing down.

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Tonight, unlike most Friday night where I simply collapse onto my bed from being so exhausted from the work week, I decided tonight would be different and I went out. By myself. Something I normally don’t do, but have been doing more often because I feel that learning to enjoy your own company is a very good skill to acquire. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Learning how to enjoy my own company. But that is not the point of this post, however I will write on that at a later time.

The point of this post is to learn how to slow down and take pleasure in it.

Tonight I went to the store with no purpose at all but simply to stroll the aisles and enjoy just being there. Being out. Being alone with myself. Normally this would freak me out because generally I like having some kind of purpose. I like knowing what I need, getting it and getting out. It actually used to cause me great anxiety going into stores and even more so, doing it alone. But I’ve moved past that and gotten to the point where I can go in and go out getting what I need. But now I want to take it a step further and simply enjoy doing nothing. Strolling without a purpose. Enjoying the pleasure of slowing down and taking my time and I open up my senses to the many different sights, sounds, and smells of where I am at in the present moment.

I browsed through each aisle, moving from the women’s section, to the jewelry section, to the cosmetics. I tried on a few shirts, even went back and forth between trying on different colors to see which looked best. I took my time looking at the jewelry. Trying on a few different rings. And lastly, I went through the cosmetics department. Looking at the variety of lipstick shades and the new spring line of nail polish. I picked out a few different things just to treat myself to something small, but nice. All in all, my browsing took about an hour, which to some women might not be very long but to me it was really an accomplishment.

I paid for my items, made a little small talk with the friendly cashier, and left feeling pretty excited to go home and try out my new nail polish shade. As I walked out into the parking lot I noticed how calm the evening air was. Very few clouds in the sky. Cold but not frigid. And the moon shining high and bright right above me. I sat in my car and had a moment of sadness because I didn’t really feel like leaving that scene just yet. So I thought to myself “why do I have to leave? It’s not like I’m expected to be home at a certain time. I have all the time in the world right now. I’ll stay.” So I drove to the edge of the parking lot. It overlooked the city lights and I turned on the radio. The Cure was playing and I turned it up even louder. It was in that moment that something magical happened.

I realized I wasn’t rushing. I was sitting there in the moment, enjoying it for what it was and enjoying my own company. I would call it beautiful, if you could describe a moment with yourself as such. I felt on top of the world. The music playing loudly. The stars twinkling right in front of me. The moon keeping me company. The lights from a busy city down below. It was cinematic really. But the beauty in it was that I was not rushing to get home or run to my next errand or worrying about anything that was on my mind. I allowed myself to slow down.

I feel that people don’t do that anymore. We don’t slow down. We rush from one thing to the next, trying to fit in as much as we can in our days and it’s because of this reason that we are more stressed and tired than ever. It’s not healthy for us to live our lives this way. We need to learn this simple art of slowing down and taking pleasure in each moment.

I know it’s difficult when our lives are filled with so many responsibilities, but we are the ones who make our own schedules aren’t we? So schedule in some time just for you. To slow down. Learn to enjoy it too. Don’t think of it as a waste of time, but rather as an investment into your well being. And once you begin to learn how to slow down, you will begin to wonder why you ever rushed around in the first place.

The Self Love Daily Challenge #030: learn to slow down and enjoy each moment.

xx

Christina Ciro

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