Practice the Art of Slowing Down

Just last night, I took my daily tour of our teeming gardens between grabbing dinner, putting the kids to bed, and prepping my next blog post – among many other things. It’s been a busy few weeks. I just don’t have much margin for error in choosing how to spend my time. The last thing I had time to do was slow down.

Photo via

So that’s exactly what I did. I chose to practice the art of slowing down.

I sat down by the creek in the garden that we call “Pixie Hollow” — more evidence of our Disney addiction — and simply observed the birds. The trees. The flowers. The sense of the place around me.

One bit of wisdom I’ve learned is this: It’s when we think we can least afford to slow down that we most urgently need to. If only for a few brief moments.

In those brief moments of respite, a truly amazing happened. As I sat still – praying a little, thinking a lot — a cardinal flew into the shallow creek bed just a few feet away. It didn’t see me.

The sun flickering through the waving grasses around it seemed to flash spotlights across its crimson feathers. The bird cocked it’s head a few times to check its surroundngs — kind of like I was doing — then went all in for a splish-splashing bath in the shimmering creek water.

A few feathery flurries later, it emerged fluffing and preening. It paused a final time to readjust its wings before flapping off into the evening.

Refreshed. Renewed. And ready for whatever came next.

After watching such a simple festival of life, I felt the same. Refreshed. Renewed. Reminded of the beauty always around me — if only I insist on taking just a few minutes to soak it in. Find tips on slowing down here.

To practice the art of slowing down.

Especially when I don’t have time.

“They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.”

What ways have you found to slow down when you think you don’t have the time? Or do you struggle to carve out the time to do just that? Share how you’re doing with a comment by clicking here.

5 Responses to “Practice the Art of Slowing Down”

  1. JsHuston June 1, 2012 at 4:28 AM #

    One of the ways that I am slowing down is having YouVersion read the Bible to me.  There is just something refreshing about HEARING the word of God … there must be something to that “Faith  cometh by hearing” thing.

    • BillintheBlank June 1, 2012 at 6:54 AM #

      What a terrific idea! Where can we find it?

      • JsHuston June 1, 2012 at 8:56 AM #  very user friendly, multiple versions and reading plans available

        • BillintheBlank June 1, 2012 at 11:07 AM #

          Thank you for the tip!

  2. Eileen June 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM #

    Love the lessons we learn when we just slow down enough to see them.  The little bird seized an opportunity.  We need to do more of that.