I’m one of these people who likes to go-go-go.

I’m often involved in several projects at a time, I was an A-student, a model employee and had an active lifestyle. Yet, nothing about me would lead you to believe that I thrive at this pace.

I like spending time reading and writing, walking in nature, listening to music, enjoying a meal in good company. I like cycling and dancing. I prefer to work from home, in my sanctuary. My activities of choice and my environment tell the story of someone who likes slow living and small pleasures.

Sure, I accomplish(ed) a lot, and have tried different things, mostly because I’m curious. But that doesn’t mean that I find my bliss, my sweet spot of happiness, there. (At least not exclusively.)

In fact, my most memorable, most joyful moments, are those I can remember clearly because I’ve slowed down enough to record it in my mind as they were felt in my heart.

“There is no side effect to slowing down except impatience.”

We were told this in yoga teacher training a few times.  I sure could feel the impatience rise when I had to slow down a sequence, or my breath…

I think I get impatient because I’m caught up in this notion that when I’m doing, I’m worthy. When in fact, being is enough.

When I slow down, I notice things I’ve never even seen or heard or smelled before. I recently discovered a stream a few blocks from my home. I’ve been living in my house 3.5 years already and I had no clue this little wonder existed. I only stumbled upon it because I took the time to go for a stroll and take the time to walk a different path. I decided to cross somewhere I would’ve disregarded before and suddenly, I could hear the water trickling. And I was drawn to it. I had to feel it for myself. I had to soak it all in. I was there for maybe 20 minutes? I’m not sure. I walked home feeling refreshed and now, I know I have this little haven near home, in the city!

My happiest moments are those I've slowed down enough to record in my mind because I felt them in my heart. - Bright Star Mercedes

There are other invaluable experiences I owe to slowing down… discovering hole in the wall restaurants or courtyards while exploring a new place, sharing authentic conversations and hearty laughter with my friends at a BBQ at my house, or even just enjoying the nurturing exchange when cuddling Nala, my cat.

Slowing down is a great act of self-care, in a world that tells us to go fast and do more. The challenges to slowing down may be many, but the greatest one, I find, will always be my own impatience.

As I sip my homemade smoothie, I toast your slowing-down moment of the day and I hope it’s as sweet as these berries…yum!

What do you do to slow down? What are the benefits you noticed in your life when you actually take time to slow down?