Recently my 9-year-old cousin and I visited downtown Milwaukee's beautiful central library. I hadn't been there in years but a good friend had gone on about the beautiful mosaic tiled entrance and many other features of the 122 year old building so we thought we would take a field trip.
There was something magical about the excursion for a few reasons. The first being the history behind the building but even better was the excitement of my young cousin who couldn't wait to explore.
After we looked amongst the books for her, I ultimately found myself in (surprise, surprise) the "personal development section." One book seemed to pop out titled, Slowing Down To The Speed Of Life published over 20 years ago.
As we sat down to read, I anticipated this to be another book on tips and tools on how to live a more mindful life with activities like meditation and mindful eating. What I found, however, was one common theme....
Think of it this way. Our thoughts are like TV channels; our consciousness is the television... so whatever channel we tune into basically results in our experience.
You are stuck in traffic. You can choose to think thoughts like "I'm sure someone was texting and driving and got into a fender bender which now is holding everyone up."
"I am going to be late for work... why am I always late?"
"#*^! why won't that person in front of me get moving??!!!"
These thoughts cause time to tick by and create stress levels that have a ripple effect to the rest of our day.
Now imagine this situation:
You are stuck in traffic. You choose to think thoughts like:
"It's kind of nice to flip on some of my favorite music and relax before I arrive at the office."
"I love having some quiet time to think about XYZ."
Time tends to fly by, we are relaxed, and our day tends to flow with this common thread.
When we slow down a bit and actively choose thoughts that uplift rather than deplete us, we are able to stay in this "easy going" zone. This allows things like creativity, new ideas, and solutions to problems to burst through our consciousness.
It's worth a try. I've made a point over the past few weeks to slow down, do one thing at a time, savor moments/conversations/meals, and especially catch my thoughts as they wander into "bad neighborhoods." I can tell you it's been a game changer in the stress department.
We don't need to go to a spa or book a vacation to relax and de-stress. The possibility for serenity lies within each of us in every moment through the power of our minds.
Happy thoughts to you all,