28 Feb Please Slow Down
As we continue into 2017, I think we should all embrace the motto “Slow Down.” It seems that with the advent of technology, job demands, the gym, children, friends, and life, we are constantly on the go. Work hours seem to extend from 40-45 hours a week to upwards of 60-70 hours. We need gadgets like iPads, Smartphones, and other “Smart” accessories to keep in touch with each other. We text, Skype, Facebook, and What’sUp each other to maintain the relationships with our family and friends. But where is all the fast-paced living leading us? Sure we might have more money, a fancier car, expensive clothes, a nice house, and the latest gadgets. But let’s do a “real” inventory check on where we stand in our lives. How are you getting along in our relationships? How are your health and emotional well-being? Are you really happy or just getting by? Better yet, when is the last time that you have even slowed down long enough to really contemplate on these questions. If you are like most people, it’s been a long time (if ever).
Our fast-paced world seems to have sped up exponentially. Moreover, most of us are so consumed by the obligations in our lives that we have become lost in what is called “Maya.” This is a word that simply means “illusion.” Most of us don’t even really think about what is important anymore. And if we do, we don’t give those things a lot of time or attention. So, that begs the question, “What is important?” Well, for one thing, people are more important. Friends, family, children, our neighbor, and even the homeless person on the street. As an example, when is the last time you took the time to really listen to someone who was talking to you or genuinely respond to the simple question of “How are you?” When was the last time you looked the store clerk in the eye and gave them a smile? When is the last time you slowed down long enough to genuinely say “thank you” to the Starbucks barista that helps you every morning? Do you even know their name?
Our fast-paced lives are taking intimate and precious moments away from the people that we care about. Our need to “be and do everything at any cost” is robbing us of getting to know people and having authentic connections with those who are part of our daily lives. We live in a world where compassion and connection are exchanged for “I’m too busy to be bothered.”
The year 2017 is about change. Amid all the radical changes going on around us, make it a priority to slow down and be more present in your life and the lives of others. Rebuild positive, nurturing relationships. Find out who is making your coffee every morning or bagging your groceries at the market. Make time to dial your phone to say “hello” instead of sending a text. Better yet, use the phone to make plans to sit down for a chat, face-to-face.
Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. We can’t get to those meaningful, authentic connections unless we slow down and stop to see who is standing in front of us. If you think about it, you’ll never know who God puts in front of you if you are walking with your head down.
If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Milan LaBrey, visit her at www.DoctorMilan.com