Quotes for
the Journey:

Slowing Down

There is more to life than
increasing its speed.

Mohandas Gandhi


We live in a tense, hard-driving generation, thinking we just have to get there in a hurry.  Why, I'll never know.  And it's wonderful what a little slowing down can do.
   We don't need a horse-drawn carriage to slow the pace; there are other ways.  The trick is to break our rhythm.  One way might be to try walking to Grandma's house with the family, instead of taking the car.  Or try making a real homemade cake, instead of using a "mix."  We might take time to go through the family photo album slowly, reliving the pleasant moments; or take the long way to the store one day, stopping at points of interest, looking for things we never particularly noticed before.
   Breaking the pattern of rush, rush, rush can restore our bodies and our minds and can bring an oasis of healing calm in the midst of stress.      -Norman Vincent Peale

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.     -Will Rogers
Youíre only here for a short visit. Donít hurry, donít worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.     -Walter Hagen
My life had become an endless race against the clock. I was always in a hurry, scrambling to save a minute here, a few seconds there. My wake-up call came when I found myself toying with the idea of buying a collection of One-Minute Bedtime Stories Snow White in 60 seconds. Suddenly it hit me:  my rushaholism has got so out of hand that Iím even willing to speed up those precious moments with my children at the end of the day. There has to be a better way, I thought, because living in fast forward is not really living at all. Thatís why I began investigating the possibility of slowing down.     -Carl Honorť

Rushing around from one activity to another, focusing on getting things done, we tend to place all our priorities on accomplishing tasks on our lists Ė doing routine housework; preparing meals and eating; commuting to work; getting things done at work; putting in time at the gym; driving our kids to soccer games, swimming lessons, and birthday parties; staying in touch with friends; taking the dog to the groomer; and so on. Are you tired yet? In the midst of it all, we become slaves to our to-do lists and become doers instead of be-ers.  We give ourselves little or no time feel, to more fully experience much of our lives. We forget that our capacity to feel is the very essence of our vitality.  Without feeling, we become zombies or robots, and after a while we are left with a vague sense that our lives are unfulfilled, empty, lacking purpose, and devoid of anything resembling vitality.     -Anat Baniel
By slowing down and relishing the unfolding of every experience, you arenít choosing to be less accomplished or productive than others.  Youíre choosing to be accomplished and productive in ways they may not even understand. Youíre choosing to change whatís within your own heart and mind, thereby becoming a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.  By no longer rushing through, youíre choosing to stop focusing so much of your energy on the wanting and yearning, the wishing it was done, the frustration with what hasnít happened yet; and to make, instead, the most of every experience as it unfolds at its own pace.     -Nea Justice
A slower-paced life means making time to enjoy your mornings, instead of rushing off to work in a frenzy. It means taking time to enjoy whatever youíre doing, to appreciate the outdoors, to actually focus on whoever youíre talking to or spending time with ó instead of always being connected to a Blackberry or iPhone or laptop, instead of always thinking about work tasks and emails. It means single-tasking rather than switching between a multitude of tasks and focusing on none of them.  Slowing down is a conscious choice, and not always an easy one, but it leads to a greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.     -Leo Babauta
Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.  Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.     -Nancy Simms
When was the last time you stopped to listen to the wind blow through the trees? Or stopped to listen to a river as it flowed past you, or the crickets and frogs and other living things as they make their music? When was the last time you listened--truly listened--to a favorite song, paying attention to the lyrics, the drums, the rhythm, the guitars or strings?     -Tom Walsh

And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn't come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere.  Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself.
    For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.     -Alexandra Potter
For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.     -Lily Tomlin
Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.     -Douglas Pagels
It is important from time to time to slow down, to go away by yourself, and simply be.      -Eileen Caddy
Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast--you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.     -Eddie Cantor
But by taking the time away, getting myself off the treadmill, and just slowing down and learning, I felt I had so much more to give back. And maybe that was something that needed to happen for all of us.     -Lindsey Buckingham
Always remember to slow down in life; live, breathe, and learn; take a look around you whenever you have time and never forget everything and every person that has the least place within your heart.     -unattributed
If you're having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down.  For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity.  It has allowed me to open up -- to know that there's life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can't find it anywhere else.     -Natalie Goldberg
I think my work has to do with a sense that we are attempting, all the time, to create a logical, rational path through the day. To the left and right there are an amazing set of distractions that we usually can't afford to follow. But the poet is willing to stop anywhere. . . . And it's that willingness to slow down and examine the mysterious bits of fluff in our lives that is the poet's interest.     -William Collins
Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.     -John De Paola

I stood still, paralyzed by the beauty and the magic of this moment. Everything stopped, even my breath. Like a sloth, I didnít want to move. There was nowhere else I needed or wanted to be. Standing there absorbing the beauty of this place, I stepped out of time. In this timeless moment, I saw and felt the unity of all things. There it was all around me: the chaos of the natural world, silently woven into a tapestry of exquisite, perfect order. I felt at one with the trees, rocks, plants, birds, insects, squirrels, leaves, and water. A witness to this sacred scene, I felt humbled and blessed to be given this moment.
   So, this is what the slow lane is about, I realized. Sipping and savoring tiny moments, stopping the clock and slipping out of time, feeling my own heart begin to synchronize with the rhythms of nature and being in the presence of the sacred. Not bad learning for a single visit. I can see possibilities here.
   And then, the moment ended and time began again. Reluctantly, I headed back to ďcivilizationĒ. I could hear the ever-present music of the freeway in the distance. Back to business as usual, the world full of cars, trucks and the people inside them; barreling towards their destinies at speeds too fast to notice life.

Judith Rich

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