When life is busy and I’m rushing about, not able to stop to chat or listen, I think of a book I love by Jamie Lee Curtis called, “Is There Really a Human Race?”
It’s a wonderful story about relishing the journey of life and making good choices along the way.
A little kiddo and his mother are spending time at the park. As the little boy visits with his mom, he considers the word human race. His imagination soars and his mind is filled with questions. He wonders if there really is a race and when it started and who said, “go.” “Are we supposed to warm up and stretch? Do we race our family members and friends? Is it a relay race? Is my Dad on my team? Is there pushing and shoving to get to the lead? If the race is unfair, will I succeed? Does my running keep the world spinning?”
Sometimes life does seem like a competitive race ~ so much hurrying about, little attention to others, people wishing to just get through a day or a stage of life. In a race, we don’t say hello to those we pass, or stop to listen to the events of their day. We focus on ourselves, what we are doing, beating the rest or just getting to the finish line. That’s a race. Life is supposed to be different.
Sometimes life requires us to be busy. Sometimes we make it busy. When there truly is an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the journey, welcome it. Slowing down is a conscious choice, but not always an easy one. When you decide to give it a try, begin in the morning by waking up a little earlier, so you can pace yourself, peacefully. While getting ready, look around your home and be thankful for it. Notice the people that share your home. Think of their most positive qualities and what they add to your life. Eat breakfast slowly and enjoy the flavor of your food. Be thankful for any part of nature as you look out a window. Do less in your day, when you can. Focus on what’s really important, what really needs to be done and let go of the rest.
Disconnect from technology sometimes. Being connected all the time means you’re subject to interruptions and you’re constantly concerned about information coming in. Smile at people you pass. Do something good for someone else, just because. One small act of mindfulness, can help you be present, increase gratitude and happiness and make the world a better place.
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Slow down and enjoy the ride. “Sometimes it’s better not to go fast, there are beautiful sights to be seen when you’re last, writes Jamie Lee Curtis, Shouldn’t it be that you just try your best? And that’s more important than beating the rest? Shouldn’t it be looking back at the end that you judge your own race by the help that you lend?”