Ever been on the London tube? I have. It’s CRAZY! Sometimes when I get back home I sit down on the sofa, stare at the wall and just decide to stop. I let the silence spread. I let the emptiness fill the room. I surround myself with a quiet space and expanded sense of being absolutely present, here and now.
It feels good. It’s peaceful.
I almost feel like time stops, sits down next to me and we both stare at the wall for a moment.
How come our world is so busy? How come we constantly project and forget to live? How come we overthink and underdream? How come people fear silence, or solitude? How come people have to be rational, and serious, and down to earth? What is it about the fear of being bored? Are we afraid that the silence might show us a truth? The truth that we are not living the life we really want? The truth that we are unfulfilled? Are we afraid of solitude because we will have to spend it with ourselves, knowing what we know?
Seneca said that only a wise man should stand away from the crowd. Solitude will harm he who is not wise because he will be not be in pleasant company.
I’m not talking about extroverts and introverts. There is no such thing. We are all introverts in some situations and extroverts in others. Even the most outgoing people I know need downtime. No, the problem comes from something else.
We love speed. We love excitement. We love hype! We love things and people that go faster, stronger, higher, and better! It’s all about growth; it’s all about beating the competition; it’s all about being number One; it’s all about scoring more; being more; proving more. Because that keeps up busy, and we think we love the thrill.
We make ourselves busy because of the adrenaline kick and because of our need for significance. We bury our lives under a never-ending list of demands and a pile of stuff to do. But most of these are not important and none of them are really urgent. We just get seduced by the idea of being busy. The idea of proving to the world what we’re up to, what we’re capable of, what we are about!
But deep down we feel the void… We run away from silence and solitude because they show us the truth about what we are doing. We are busy because we prefer not to look at what’s burning inside of us. We don’t listen to our inner voice.
The truth is that human beings are not made to function around the clock. We are made to pursue what we are here to offer. The busyness is just a distraction. A delusion.
Nature created day and night. Throughout the ages, the alternating of activity and rest has always been true. Yin and Yang are not just fancy Chinese words. They are a representation of what life is all about. Not just human life, but any form of life. A natural balance of opposites. Don’t delude yourself: 5 weeks a year spent on a beach won’t do.
Did we forget that the greatest inventions happened because wise men and women chose not to run with the flock? Did we forget that wise men and women, who decided to think about what was really going on, shaped our world more than the “busy” herd altogether?
There is a fantastic force at play in the world and it’s time to give it some credit back. This is the power of slowing things down.
Slow down and learn to listen to your inner voice.
Slow down in your business.
Slow down in your relationship.
Slow down in your career.
Slow down in your personal goals.
Slow down in your daily routine.
When you finally make the decision to slow down in life and listen to your inner voice, you may suddenly find yourself beginning to live…