Living in the slow lane!

One thing is for certain….living with Multiple Sclerosis has moved me into the slow lane. By that I mean I reside in a place of rest, relaxation and calm and nothing is urgent. I have to take my energy as it comes. It’s not something I have a lot of and it’s not a frequent visitor. My old self, who liked to get things done right away, has departed. My new self is slowly adjusting to a “turtle pace”.

It has not been an easy transition. I was a mover and a shaker….so to speak…in my past. MS has forced me to slow down….more than I like…but I have to accept it. There is just no other way. If I have to live like this then I better learn to enjoy the slower pace….nothing is SO important that it has to be done RIGHT NOW. I get things done as my physical energy allows.

Todays world is FAST. Even with technology that saves us time, we still fill in the gaps with busy-ness. I cannot, no matter how hard I try or how much I moan, remotely keep up with this world.

According to scientific studies, slowing down your pace of life can provide greater meaning to your life. I have come to believe this….. the slower I get the more convinced I’m becoming. It’s not something I have chosen to do, so I carry a bit of resentment with this “forced” slow down but I take more pleasure in simple things than I use to.

I will share with you some of things that may get better for you with a slower pace of life.

  • ENJOY THE MOMENT – in my situation I am definitely in the moment. I can no longer run from event to event so each moment is meaningful…no matter how small. I am fully in the moment….not thinking about what is around the corner.
  • PATIENCE – slowing down is exercising my “patience” muscle. I still have a way to go here. There is little patience in our modern day lifestyles. We all want it “NOW”….whatever it may be. Not being able to do or get somewhere without help takes patience.
  • GRATITUDE – having to slow down makes us more aware of the “good” things in life.
  • ACCEPTANCE – this is one element of slowing down and moving over so the rest of the world can go past that I am getting better at. Accepting that MS has robbed me of what I “use” to do and being appreciative of what I still can do is big.
  • STRESS REDUCTION – when living from a place of calm, there is way less stress. Doing relaxing activities is good for serotonin levels in the brain and leaves you feeling more relaxed. That is why meditation is so good for you. It quiets your mind and body.
  • LISTENING BETTER – I actually focus more on what others are saying. I listen better. I seem to learn more from what I hear. I’m more engaged with others rather than rushing off in the other direction.
  • NATURE LOVER – I never thought of nature or truly appreciated it much but now, as I toot around the golf courses on my Paragolfer I am totally amazed by nature. I enjoy looking at the wildflowers, the trees, the animals that scurry around the area, the cloud formations, the weather patterns and the changes in wind and temperature. I love the feel of the sun on my face, the wind on my skin, even the rain drops. It’s all clearly visible to me now that I’ve slowed down.

Slowing down has it’s benefits and rewards. I can vouch for that.

When you feel like you are in the fast lane and want to pull over to the side, “breathe”. Take some deep breaths, feeling the air moving in and out of your body. Focusing on your breath will bring you into the present moment and slow you down.

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