The Power of Slowing Down

'Peek-a-Boo Squirrel' by Rosanne Jordan (fineartamerica.com)Photo by Rosanne Jordan

Thought for the Week

I hate the fact that adverse experiences teach me more than easy-peasy-everything-pleasey ones do, but like it or not, it’s true. Yet I often fail to learn the lessons they offer, and am always surprised when I do learn something. Perhaps this is because I’m stubborn and boneheaded. Wait—lose the “perhaps.”

Recently, two things have taught me the power of slowing down:

First, after three months of trying to avoid using my injured left thumb, it finally occurred to my boney little brain that the only way I’m going to effectively avoid aggravating the injury is to pause, remind myself not to use it, and orchestrate an alternative. Result? There are signs my thumb may finally be healing.* Also, the slow-down approach has started spilling over into my other perpetually clumsy behaviors, causing me to bump into things less, spill my coffee less, and make my wife roll her eyes less.

Second, I caught a fluff story on my newsfeed about Rebel Wilson’s spectacular weight loss—one of the keys to which is simply chewing each bite of her food a minimum of forty times. Why is this relevant? Because I have a persistent problem with acid stomach, much of which is caused by eating like a snake (swallowing my food whole). So, along with all this thoughtful thumblessness, I’ve started super-chewing. Result? I’m savoring my food again, eating less and enjoying it more, appreciating the subtleties of well-prepared dishes and textures of whole foods. And, while I’m chewing, I’m savoring the moment, my surroundings, and most importantly my dining companion.

In fact, slowing down is affecting my overall behavior, causing me to take better note of what’s happening around me, and be more aware of what I’m doing. But most importantly, it’s making me a little more sensitive to what’s going on with other people. In fact, I think the biggest lesson of all in this slowing down business is that there’s potential healing and savoring in it for others, as well, subtle providential empathy.

And that’s the best lesson of all.

*If this doesn’t do it, I promise to see a specialist (he said stubbornly and boneheadedly).

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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67 Responses to The Power of Slowing Down

  1. Hmm, suppose there’s a lesson here for my two decades of fibromyalgia, not to say yes to everything even though I “look” lazy this way? I must be a slow learner, but this resonates. Yes, thumbs can be fixed. And it’s amazing how quickly the human body knits itself back together, beginning in the OR! (Lots of experience with that as well.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Good idea. When I turned seventy I gave up five black diamond downhill skiing. Now that I’m eighty, I thank the heavens that I gave up five black diamond skiing.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. CG says:

    I think your words today are the most useful for me personally. I shall chew slowly on the thought and hopefully on my food

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Liz says:

    Great post about acceptance and being mindful. Thanks Mitch! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Gail Perry says:

    Good for you, Mitch. Life is better in the slow lane! ❤🙏✝️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well good notes here for all of us. The chewing thing hit home for me. Thanks, Mitch.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Makes total sense 🙂 I recent encounter with Omicron has forced me to slow down.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Slowing down also helps us enjoy the moment better. Take longer drinking coffee and look longer at the flowers and talk longer with friends, family and God. It helps us live fully.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I love the chewing thing. I will practice today. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thumbs are harder to heal than most would think. We use them more than we realize and it’s taken at least 2 years for mine to be usable again. I still have to be gentle with it. You use your thumbs for everything. Slowing down can get you there faster because ou don’t have to stop and clean up your messes on the way.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. rwfrohlich says:

    You sound like me, especially the eating part. Although I love to eat my wife’s cooking, I treat eating as if it were a chore to be done as quickly as possible. However, I do have an argument against you choice of photo for this post on slowing down. The squirrels I see do everything at hyper speed. Even when they are momentarily stopped, their bushy tails continue to twitch, as if motionlessness would lead to disaster.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. My mother ate very slowly and insisted that we all eat too fast. This is not helped by places like hospitals giving staff such a short time to eat. I have been slowing down for a while and it does help acid reflux.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. When I was wondering why I seem to be slowing down on some things in my life and feels a bit sad about it, then I read this. Thank you. It is not that bad, after all. There are benefits to slowing down. Life is short. Take it slow and savor every moment.

    🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I’ve often been teased for being a slow eater. Now I have an excuse–no, a REASON. Thanks, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Ananda says:

    Am going to chew my food longer. Thanks Mitch

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It sure helps me get along with my spouse to slow down. An added benefit is the quality of what you cook. The dishes are enhanced by some patience. I have been trying to slow down and it’s even hard in retirement. May the good Lord bless your efforts Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good idea, about the chewing – taking the time to savor, experience, enjoy … I’m going to try it with food. Also with visits, reading, prayer, smelling flowers, taking walks …

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Good idea, about chewing – taking the time to savor, experience, enjoy … I’m going to try it with food. Also with visits, reading, praying, smelling flowers, taking walks … You know. Life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thanks Mitch for the reminder to slow down. There’s a great book I read once about “slow travel” encouraging us to travel slow and enjoy the journey rather than race to the destination every time. We can often miss life’s lessons along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Chaya Sheela says:

    I enjoyed this post.
    I had always eaten slowly, enjoying every morsel of cooking. However, once I became a teacher, I got into the habit of inhaling my food in 20 minutes between dropping my students in the cafeteria and picking them up. Now though retired and enjoying every minute of my slow-paced life, I am unable to unlearn my habit of inhaling food!
    Best wishes.
    Chaya

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I can completely relate to your article. God Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Eating like a snake? I’ve gotta quit doing that! Thanks, Mitch. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Mitch and thanks for visiting. I so agree with you about slowing down.. easier said that done but a necessity! 🙏🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Pingback: The Power of Slowing Down – CURIOSIDADES NA INTERNET

  25. gpavants says:

    HI Mitch,

    We are so busy in this life so slowing down is good. Just don’t put the brakes on and come to a screeching halt. We need a certain amount of good activity as well. It is finding the right speed to travel.

    In Christ, Gary

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Glad you are healing and, that is something I would NEVER have thought to apply the ‘slow down’ concept to! I will start to pay attention to that! Thanks for passing it on!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. usfman says:

    Seeing a specialist unless they were yoga practitioners would be the last option. I would consult if I wanted to slow down.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. wjwingrove97 says:

    interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Yes, slowing down is vital in this culture; our frantic pace of life is not exactly the norm worldwide!

    Liked by 1 person

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