Slow Down, Save A (Your) Life

Turret Arch at Arches National Park, Utah
“Nature never hurries. Atom by atom, little by little she achieves her work.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a race – because our time is so limited.  You get one chance to do it all.  Western culture tells us to go and to get there as fast as we can.  Move forward, don’t look back, keep going and get their quick!  We have to keep up if we are going to make it in this world.  You must always be producing    something of value to others.  Pick up the pace, you slacker!

Why exactly are we falling for this theory?  Research studies say multi-tasking is not good for us, stress is not good for us, scheduling our children to the max isn’t healthy for their development, and working obscene amounts of time increases the risk of early death.  There is an obvious conflict between what our society is telling us and what our body and mind are telling us.  So, how do we resolve this conflict?

I vote for stopping.  Completely and often.  Look around you – what is around you at this very moment? Have you ever noticed the fine details of something that make it unique and potentially meaningful to you?  Take it in and enjoy everything you can.  

Taking in all that the granite dome and peaks of Yosemite have to offer.

My stopping place is outside of four walls.  Here I find a smorgasbord of detail and design that halts the daily mad dash that has been pounded into my brain.  When I am surrounded by the calming colors in nature, feeling the touch of a breeze on my skin, absorbing the warmth of the sun, or am kissed by a snowflake hitting my cheek, I slow waaaaay down.  When I hike into a wild place, I am walking into a space where I am free to just be.  As I sit on a rock or a log, absorbing this environment, I am  fed a message opposite of what I get most days of my life indoors, and it changes my perspective from one that is unhealthy to one that is healthy.  

Outside I exist just as I am, a small piece of a greater whole natural world, in which I am fortunate to be a part of and enjoy for the short while that I am able.

One thought on “Slow Down, Save A (Your) Life”

  1. I love this piece! Much has been written lately about the need for “mindfulness” — You’ve communicated that message in a wonderful way that ties our mental health to the healing power of time spent outdoors.


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