“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” (Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28-30MSG)
Taking a real rest.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? I’ve been on this purpose of slowing down for a handful of years now. It’s where my mantra, Finding Sacred in the Simple, comes from. The world is a noisy place and if we aren’t careful, our souls can become noisy too. So noisy that we can no longer hear what we truly need.
Here are ten quick things you can do to start practicing the art of slowing down:
- Chew you food. Really. Is there anything more frustrating than fixing a nice dinner or being out at your favorite restaurant and “horking” it down? Even the rat in Ratatouille knew to savor the flavor of his food.
- Make a complete stop at stop signs. Can you believe I’m asking this of you?
- Play a board or card game. Not video games with their high speed but an old-fashioned board game that has pieces and dice and squares with pictures.
- Drive the speed limit. Now I’ve crossed the line! But seriously.
- Set the table for dinner. Use the plates you got for your wedding, fold the napkins, light the candles, dim the lights, and take in time with your family.
- Breathe for a six count in then a six count out four times. You’d be amazed at what just doing that will do for you.
- Listen without an opinion. Slow your responsive brain down that feels the need to fix the problem, give your side or be right. Simply listen.
- Use fewer words. There are so many words in the world today. We don’t always need to speak.
- Shut off the noise. The T.V. The Phone. The news. Social Media. The radio. Sit in silence and notice what you hear…both internally and externally.
- Carve out time to do nothing. Doesn’t have to be a lot, especially at first, but try it.
Your soul will thank you.