Slowing down and experiencing more depth in life

By Fred Cavaiani

I am often so amazed when I eat at my favorite restaurant by the energy the waitresses and waiters have.  I wonder how many miles they walk on their daily shift.  They are very kind and helpful and caring. I just marvel at the rapid pace they have to keep for a whole shift.  I get tired just watching their fast pace.  I am sure it is because I am old now and don’t run marathons anymore.  But I do find out at the slow pace I walk now, that I feel more relaxed and can observe so many more things and pay more attention to the people around me.  I don’t envy the fast pace that other people must keep.

There is so much to observe and appreciate in life. When I observe other people, I appreciate them more.  When I observe things around me in nature, my  whole system seems to slow down and I see and experience nature in a much deeper manner.  The slower and more profoundly I observe people, places and nature,  the more peace and wisdom I feel and experience.

When I am slowly conversing with someone else, a conversation of depth and sharing begins to surface in such a meaningful manner.  Often, I will go to dinner in the early evening – between four and five o’clock: “Old people’s Time.   What I notice more is that these ‘old people’ and yes that  includes me seem to be conversing so attentively with each other as if their conversations give an impression that they are really sharing and listening to each other. The waiters and waitresses even slow down as they wait on these “old people”.  Maybe growing old is really growing into a depth of living that brings more inner peace and love into our hearts and minds.  But to have this last and become more helpful, I need to embrace and appreciate the wisdom of slowing down and become more attentive to life which is allow happening around me. 
What a blessing it is to never rush to the next moment.

As I just returned home from eating at my favorite restaurant.  It was so busy  there that after I got my table, I felt that I would be waiting a long time before I would ever get served. So, I decided to  get up and leave. One of the managers came over to me and kindly convinced me to stay and reminded me that it was St. Patrick’s Day but he would serve me right away.  He was so kind and reassuring.  I was so glad I stayed.  His friendliness and kindness help me to slow up and be receptive to what was going on. And I was served in a caring and kind manner.  I realize that when I slow down and be attentive to other people, my whole physical and emotional system slows down and something profound spiritually happens to me. I become kinder and notice goodness all around me. Life does not have to be a rush into  the next moment.

The holy people over the centuries did not rush through life even though they accomplished much.  They knew that slowing down, spending much time in meditation and gently loving everyone, would give them a deeper experience of life and a deeper experience of God.  That famous quote “Be still and know that I am God” now makes even more sense.

I think television unconsciously realizes this.  Most of the main characters in police dramas and other programs portray a relaxed manner of embracing what might be coming their way. It allows the viewers to pay better attention to what is happening.

Slow down. Listen carefully. Don’t  rush to the next moment.  And lo and behold- an experience of God is felt and embraced.  The pace of life in the present moment then becomes an experience of profound depth which allows a loving God to become real and a relaxing manner of living to surface and uplift me. Go slow. Be receptive. Observe and reflect without haste.  And God will become real no matter how young we are or how old we might be.

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