Nowadays life can be overwhelming. We’re exposed to so much information through so many online and offline channels it can become difficult to filter everything. Life passes in a blur. Have you ever wondered what you would see if you consciously slow down your pace? When you truly unwind, little details will stand out. Beautiful hidden treasures that were impossible to see because of the external noise will reveal themselves to you. Here are 4 things you only can see when you're slowing down.
1. Relationships are similar to campfires
Known as the “Twitter monk”, former professor at a small liberal arts college and zen master Haemin Sunim dedictated his inspiring book ‘Things you can only see when you slow down’ to this intriguing subject. With 1 million followers on Twitter and with more than four million copies sold in more than 35 different languages, it is safe to say that ‘slowing down’ is a subject he knows very well.
The Korean Buddhist monk Sunim lives in Seoul and teaches various life issues, from love and friendship to work, life goals and spirituality. His insights and advice help people to find peace in a busy modern world. Sunim states that when we slow down, we can fully practice the art of maintaining a relationship. According to him, we can compare relationships to a sizzling hot, cozy campfire. If we sit too close, we get too hot and can even get burned. And if we sit too far away, we cannot feel the heat. No matter how well you get on with someone, if we get too close, we quickly feel trapped and irritated. In short: when it comes to healthy relationships, balance is key. To give and receive love, whether it is on a romantic level, or love that you cherish for your friends, you need to unwind from time to time. Only with a clear, peaceful state of mind you’ll see what the current state of a relationship is. And, even more important, what it is that you can do to strengthen the bond.
2. The variety of clouds
When you look at the sky, you often see them. Clouds come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are really low to the ground and others are so high up in the sky that an aeroplane can barely get above them. Have you ever allowed yourself the time to stop what you are doing and stare to the sky?
If you take a moment to do so, you will be amazed at the different types of clouds. Divided into categories, you will be able to distinguish the cirrus, cumulus, stratus and nimbus clouds amongst others. Extra bonus: many of us experience staring upwards as very meditative and relaxing by combining it with the following mindful exercise:
Visualise your thoughts as clouds
Look at them without any judgement or expectations
Just let them float by
Experience how your mind receives a state of calmness
Slow down and allow yourself to do absolutely nothing
3. The beauty of a dish
When we’re in a rush, eating is something that we do automatically, without thinking. Munching on food between work, exercising, babysitting, or cleaning up may be functional, but surprise: you're missing out!
Try to eat mindfully by really taking the time to plate a dish beautifully and to enjoy your food with both your eyes, as well as your taste buds. Spot the funny shapes of your alphalfa sprouts, the intense yellow colour of your bell pepper or the richness of the drops of olive oil on your plate. Notice how you enjoy your meal much more and – additional benefit – feel your heart rate slowing down. Because you don’t gulp down your food, you automatically ‘eat’ less oxygen with each bite which results in a calm sensation in your body, mind and soul.
4. Hidden art
Cities such as Amsterdam, London and Berlin are full of hidden art. Many building facades are decorated with artworks, parks are brightened up with them and the streets are one big open-air museum. Installing art in public spaces and on buildings has been a tradition since the beginning of the last century. As a result, cities have built up an extraordinary collection of outdoor artworks.
Most of the time we are rushing through the streets, trying to arrive at work on time or picking up a package before the delivery point closes. We encourage you to adjust your pace and travel a little slower. You will be surprised about all the beautiful artworks – and even the buildings themselves - that you have never seen before, despite taking your regular route. It can be a real treat to your senses to slow down and attentively look around. Discover that you don’t need to buy a ticket to witness some beautiful art.
Tip: are you looking for the work of a particular artist in the city? Visit the website of the relevant municipality/city and discover everything you need to know about the work itself and the artist.
In need of an extra boost to help you to take it easy? Then you should try the beautiful product range of The Ritual of Jing. Infused with ingredients that are known to help alleviate stress, create a calm state of mind and infuse your day with tranquility and a sense of peace.