Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Art of Stillness

I love TED talks. I volunteered to be on the TEDxPittsburgh team earlier in the fall to plan TED Talks for Pittsburgh (coming up in May)! It's been really fun to see the process and plan the event. I have a lot of favorite TED talks, like this one, but this one has really stood out to me lately. I'd say it is a must watch. 

I am a self proclaimed speed demon. No, not really while in the car but with everything in life. I'm always going somewhere, always doing something, my to-do list is never ending, my calendar always full. I'm always connected whether it be via e-mail, social media, or texts/calls. 
While watching Pico Iyer's TED talk, I was reminded that sometimes it's necessary to just 'go slow'. 
I started thinking about this while I was at the bank. This is so minute and silly, but it is really what sparked this post. I was depositing a check and as I was scribbling my signature on the back, I looked at it and thought, 'wow, what terrible handwriting I have!' But here's the thing. I don't have terrible handwriting. In fact, I'm quite fond of my handwriting! 

Why was my signature awful? The answer is simple: I was rushing to sign my name. This is a little bit of a stretch in regards to Mr. Iyer's talk, but why was I so rushed to scribble my name? I had places to go and people to see, of course! But in reality, I should have taken my time and signed my name neatly. 

Another small example is that I have a cup of hot tea each night. Admittedly, sometimes I will make tea via the microwave because I am not patient enough to wait for the teapot on the stove. It's silly little things like this that I do to 'cut corners', save time and become more efficient. But in the reality, I think that is what is taking away from truly enjoying life. 
While I brew a pot of tea, why not just focus on that, rather than checking on Instagram, composing an e-mail, or chatting on the phone. When I am writing a thank you note, I should really focus on what I am writing, rather than stopping every sentence to text someone back or change the song on Spotify. 

Of course, this can all be related on a large scale. In the world of instant gratification, we are all rushed. Rushed to download the latest music, rushed to watch the latest and greatest on Netflix, rushed to respond to e-mails.  And, while a little 'kick' never hurts to get things done, oftentimes, when you are rushed, you don't have time to appreciate the beauty of a moment. Then it is lost forever. 

Admittedly, I love speed. I love to get into a work groove and getting it all done. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment, no doubt. However, there is also nothing like the feeling of going slow. I've started to really relish my Saturday and Sunday mornings. I let myself get up slowly. I make a cappuccino and try to ignore my phone and computer for a while. I'll read a book or magazine, sit outside and just simply enjoy my coffee. It's refreshing and I swear it makes me happier and more productive throughout the rest of my day. I guess it's my own way of meditating. So here's to slowing down and appreciating everything in life. Big and small, it's all important. How do you slow down? Have a fabulous day! 



Erin Fairchild said...

I'm definitely working on slowing down and going with the flow more! I would love to be on a committee like this in Omaha!

Her Heartland Soul

Anonymous said...

You are wise beyond your years

Jubilee said...

I'm an event planner and my life is unpredictable and go-go-go! I appreciate this post - such a great reminder! I find my "slow" by being in nature, even if it's a long walk with my dog. Thanks for continuing to inspire us, Sydney!

Portuguese Prepster said...

I totally agree - slowing it down is hard!

Taylor N. Lacey said...

I could not agree more! I'm almost done with my engineering degree and I can't wait to have more time to live in the moment more because it's been work work work for the past 4 years Side note: I def want to work on a Ted Talk committee - how did you get involved?


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