This year I’m focused on Slowing Down. I went on my annual fishing trip to the Chesapeake Bay near the Potomac River this weekend and instead of traveling the fast, pressurized and reactive Route 95, I went through Delaware and took the slower and calmer Route 301-50 through farmlands.
I strategically chose that route to support my active pursuit to deescalate and slow down, I also intentionally watched for hawks, cattle, crops or grass growth, anything to connect with nature or the land.
I pulled over to watch a large bird that was carrying something I couldn’t quite make out while driving and it turned out to be a bald eagle tending to her nest. I saw the male keeping watch on a near-by branch. Bald eagles sexes look alike except the female is larger.
I literally stopped to “smell the roses.” It paid off. I was even calmer and more in-tune after watching the eagles for a few minutes. I had prepared myself.
I was ready for my 14 fishing buddies who wanted to all talk at the same time, rehash the political fodder, share their strongly held opinions and help me correct my ways.
I remained neutral, smiling and unruffled the entire trip. Afterwards, they sent pictures with the text message, thanks for a great trip, had a blast! I thought to myself, this was a success to remember and continue repeating.
Here is the Slowing Down take away:
It’s easier and more common to go fast. It harder to slow down, be fully present and take in what’s happening right in front of you.
People missed the eagle but when the bright and colorful police cruiser lights had someone pulled over traffic slowed to a crawl. Keep an eye out for the less common, smaller but more worthwhile things.
People overlook the good stuff of life and don’t even realize it. They can’t recognize the source of their discontentment and unhappiness.
You can’t see life’s small wonders if you are moving at break-neck speed. Miracles are never far from where we are. The trick is to slow down and see them!
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