28 January 2012

On slowing down...

I spend most of my time jumping from one thing to another, trying to 'multitask' all the time even it means just thinking/planning about too many things all at once. Its exhausting.
At the end of the day I feel that I simply wasted the day away worrying and thinking and making plans, or simply dreaming about things that aren't really there. Nothing much was accomplished. And the cycle repeats itself the next day, day after day. Weekends whiz by: I spend the time doing all the mundane stuff (TV, facebook...?), trying too hard to 'enjoy my free time', and avoiding things that really need to be done (chores?). Nope, that's not the way it works! Weeks go by, and I remain where I was, hardly moved at all. 
Rings a bell? Well, then maybe I have company!

Here's a way to deal with such a situation, to get yourself out of the mud and start moving. 

Slow Down.

Yep. Simple. But it takes practice. A lot of practice. I take the slow down advice almost literally. To me it means to slow down my reactions/judgement/decisions. Let me explain.
On a normal day, I worry endlessly about how I should be using my time, monitoring and judging myself for every little thing that I do, and basically beat myself up about everything. All this has no benefit, it only does damage, but I do it anyway because its such a strong habit with me. To stop this, I try to snap out of it every once in a while and try to focus on a single thing. It could be something as simple as reading something useful and putting all my attention into it. Over the next few minutes, I start to get my hold and focus comes in. My negativity starts to fade gradually, the constant 'monitoring' and 'judgemental' attitude reduce a lot too. This is the state in which I can actually start focusing on 'real work' and make good use of my time and energy. 
So the key here is to turn off the constant judgement and self-beating. Once that is out of the way, the rest becomes easier as I feel more at peace with myself. 
Slowing myself down is the only way I can stop wasting my energy. Find your own way to slow yourself down. People often use meditation to 'calm down'. Maybe this is what they mean by it. To me, it simply means to throw away the self-beating and self-judgmental part, be okay with myself, and focus on real work. 
As I said before, if you are also into the habit of constantly monitoring yourself and have a lot of chatter in your head most of the time, it will take some practice to snap out of it and hold onto your focus activity until you get a hold. Don't give up, stay with it, and in time you will get that foothold and focus will kick-in. Once it starts, you feel much more peaceful. 
The picture of the beach above is easy to look at and enjoy because it is SIMPLE. A beach with plain sand, water, with a small wave in it, and a warm evening glow. There are no endless distractions like a crowd moving around, things lying around on the beach, trees, or any other details. Its just a plain and simple picture, a picture of a peaceful place.  (Click the picture for a bigger version. Feel free to download to use as your desktop if you wish). The picture on the right is quite simple too because it shows just one object. That's what makes it work: one thing at a time, no crowds, no distractions. Moral: slow down, simplify, make your life easier.
- Cheers,

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