Slow Down and Live

We’re busy. We always have something going on; something to do or somewhere to be. We are constantly bombarded with responsibilities at home, on the job or at the church. We often find there are more things on our To Do list than the day will allow. At times we sacrifice family, rest/relaxation, and physical activity in order to keep pace with the busy lives we lead.

I recall growing up as a kid in the church, a very wise deacon would encourage those gathered for worship to “slow down and live”. As I child I could not fully appreciate what he was saying, however, as an adult these wise words resonate with me as I become aware of my influence on others to lead with excellence.

My family and I recently enjoyed our first real vacation together. Not the “staycation” that we’d become accustomed to for fear of being too far away and disconnected from other responsibilities, but a REAL vacation where we physically vacated our normal position and temporarily repositioned ourselves in a different environment.

Here are a few things my vacation taught me:

:: It’s ok to be disconnected from our everyday responsibilities. Let it go. Be intentional about taking time to get away, rest, regroup and come back refreshed and focused. Oftentimes failure to take the proper time away renders one ineffective and unproductive. Disconnect from electronic devices {a discipline I’m still working on} that rob and distract you of precious time with the ones you love. You are NOT a servant to your devices; they are a servant to you. Regain control.

:: Be fully present. I have two small children. The rapid pace at which they are growing frightens me because it’s happening so fast. My vacation reinforced the importance of slowing down and paying attention to these precious gifts. I purposed to relax, laugh and pay attention as my five year old chased sea gulls and watched with curiosity as my 9 month old discovered sand for the first time. We’ll never have another “first” beach experience and it was important to be fully present and take it all in. Taking time away demonstrates to the ones you love that they matter and demonstrates to those you serve that you know how to prioritize.

:: Vacations support proper physical and mental health. As busy professionals, we often unconsciously neglect our health in order to take care of our daily responsibilities. I recently saw a Facebook post that said “it’s not selfish to take care of yourself – its wisdom”. Upon my return to reality, I could appreciate the benefits I received from my vacation in the form of more energy, a fresh perspective and a new attitude. Stress kills. Relaxation preserves. 

There will always be an email to address, a phone call to return, a project to complete. But there is only one YOU to do it. Stop and focus on what really matters.

There are a few weeks left before this summer season ends. Here’s my advice to you – Slow down and live.

With Excellence,
Towanda

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5 comments on “Slow Down and Live
  1. Robyn says:

    Life is precious and we only get one here on earth. Cherish and nourish it!

  2. Tisha says:

    It is very important to take time away from the hustle of daily life. A vacation away from work and regular routine “Does the body good”. Thanks for those words of wisdom. We only live once and I agree “Slow down and Live”.

  3. RUTH says:

    Oh yes, yes! Turing off all devices and allowing myself to become ‘unavailable’s is therapeutic ~ and then comes the sun, fun, music and sand – aaah! Thanks for sharing!

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