The Art of Going Slow

 Cat napping on the go

Cat napping on the go

“The Art of Going Slow” has now become such an urgent consideration as we see the ever increasing range of children and young adults with mental health problems, behavioural issues and the inability to cope with all that is being forced upon them. I used to think that it was mainly we older people who could not keep up with this ridiculously fast information sharing, small screen learning, competative world.

I watch young parents rushing in and out of their cars; bags, jackets,children tumbling out looking bedraggled and tetchy. Rushing to school, to after-school clubs, community activities, sports clubs, adventure centres, parties and finally home. The physical activity and energy expended in one solitary day is immense ! Why are they doing this to themselves the adults? Is it not enough to run a household, hold down jobs, commute and bring up a family? The modern day family seems not to know how to live a sustainable life.

We talk endlessly about the sustainability of the planet, of energy sources and food development. All this is vital to the future of mankind. However whatever happened to the sustainability of humans?

Mums often come to see me as a Wellbeing Coach because they are weary, demotivated and desparate for some  purpose and meaning in their lives. Tired of the continuous life-style of doing, competing, stimulating their children and dealing with the inevitable exhausted child who has been over stimulated. Or indeed living with children who have become addicted to their own adrenaline buzz. I love seeing happy, healthy children enjoying a sport or two.  Childhood may seem short but so much of what we do with children, may not be remembered. Life and learning hopefully will continue for a very long time— so what is this rushing all about?

This endless focus on what is outside in the environment leads to this continual seeking for happiness, achievement AND ULTIMATELY SUCCESS— out there!  I accept that we always want to offer our children as many skills and interests as we possibly can. We fill them full of every possible opportunity. Often we give them all that they ask for, through our own ” need” to be seen as the good parent.

I know, I did it too.

Each individual child has their own unique needs. The very basic are food, shelter, education and healthcare. Then the love and care of supportive parents or guardians. The loving hug, the listening ear, the discipline of learning right from wrong and knowing that happiness need not be found in the complexities of this western world.mindful teens

We are in serious need of revisiting the way of life of our ancestors or of other cultures who hold quiet reflective time, as sacrocanct. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing a family walking together or choosing to have as many healthy living options as possible.

Inviting you all to model to those younger and still impressionable, that life requires time for silence, for settling and sitting with our own thoughts. That over-tired minds create less than healthy people and we the caretakers of their futures have a duty of care………………………. to be continued.

Self Care

If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your responsibilities. – Ann Richards

self careI read recently that around 80% of care in the UK is self care. The majority of people feel comfortable managing everyday minor ailments like coughs and colds themselves; particularly when they feel confident in recognising the symptoms and have successfully treated these conditions before, continue to use an over-the-counter or home cure. We all have days of feeling tired/run down, with headaches, joint pain and the signs of an ageing body. Again we take responsibility for these, by ourselves by visiting the pharmacy or popping a pill.

However the term “self-care” potentially covers so many areas of our lives; nutrition, exercising, earning a living, feeding our families and these can become nothing but a list of things to do.

Giving ourselves permission to acknowledge that at times this in itself can become completely overwhelming. I think we actually need to refer to sustaining our lives, not just self care which seems to be about reacting when things are not perfect. Meaning we only change our habits when we are up against ill health, physical or mental.

Are you  content with this life of rushing, planning, worrying, fitting it all into what ever time we think we have?self care

Could it be we really need to nurture ourselves on many levels?  We nourish our physical bodies with what suits our palates and our purses. We nourish our minds through learning and experiencing lifes up and downs. We crave emotional food in our relationships by seeking love, kindness and compassion but what feeds our souls? What makes our hearts sing?

We live in the world of automatic pilot.That is why we have evolved into this machine like being. Believing that we need to keep up by multi-tasking, doing everything that is expected of us and forgetting to give ourselves permission to stop.

Join me on another type of journey—- that of pressing the pause button.