Follow one Londonista trying to put the brakes on with Slow Club
I cannot believe that Slow Club is over. It has rolled out slowly, deliberately – and this is a good thing. I cannot remember a time when their weekly emails weren’t delivering me bitesize snippets of Zen.
Last week, I was told to do nothing for 10 minutes. Switch everything off. Keep my eyes open. I found it a strange, painful process. My mind became full of memories and thoughts: a little sad, a little fretful. The thoughts that tend to get swept under the autopilot carpet of life. But I managed to get past that, and, in the last couple of minutes, I was simply aware of processes: my chest rising up and down; the warmth of one hand on the other; how saliva built up in my mouth. Instead of relaxing, I found it invigorating.
I was also asked to listen with undivided attention to someone – without planning my next sentence or moving the conversation on.I felt comfortable enough with my partner to try this on him. Although he didn’t seem to notice anything different, it shocked me how many times I planned to interrupt (I bit my tongue) or wanted to turn the conversation back to me. I need to improve.
But what happens now? Well, I live in a big, wonderful city, and I want to step back in it. Not leap, but step. Understand the things I like and the things I don’t. What invitations to accept and which to turn down. I can’t do everything – but the things I do do, I want to do well: slowly, wholly and utterly in the moment.
It was mid-January when I joined Slow Club: we were in the depths of winter, with snow piling up around us. Now it is mid-March, and yesterday I saw crocuses and daffodils peeking out of the soil. They took their slow, gentle time – but I appreciate them more for it.
Photo courtesy of Anvica’s flickrstream