Being stressed out is like being on a fast train, the scenery around us eventually fades out and becomes abstract lines of green and blue. But if the train slows down a bit you can enjoy the scenery, you actually see the trees, animals, farmers and the small details around you.
India has taught us to slow down. Everything takes longer time here. And I mean that, an indian hour can mean a half a day. People take their time here and that has taught us a new level of patience. Recently we have been practicing slowing down in a more conscious way with these three methods:
Silence is the new sound. Vipassana retreats (10 days in silence) are popping up all over the world, which might tell us that the world needs more quiet time. Silent mornings showed me how much of what I say is just to fill up space. So much has no meaning. I was also reminded of the power of words, how much they can hurt and how much joy they can bring. When you are in silence you slow down enough to notice your thinking patterns. And when you see the little monsters in your mind you can catch them before you express them!
This a weird one I know. But don’t judge before you try it! In the training we were all blindfolded doing different practices (no, not the ones your thinking of). Just by being in the dark, dancing in the dark and communicating in the dark naturally slows everything down. I experienced a sense of freedom when my brain was not judging everything by its cover and comparing me constantly to other people. In this state you have no option but to slow down (so you don’t hurt yourself!), be present and experience your other senses more fully. For example good music becomes even better. So, what about taking a blindfolded Tuesday night at home? Anyone?
David was barefoot in Goa for 4 months last season and is still going strong. Being barefoot is one of the most effective way to get grounded and slow down. You have to watch out for every stone, glass and garbage on your way. And that turns walking into a mindful act. After a while you start knowing that there is a stone coming up or glass without even looking down, its like your caveman intuition is activated. And why go for a foot massage when you can walk barefoot?