I remember the harried days during my world of work; my 30 year career in education. While teaching during the school year and working youth programs at local parks during the summer, I was always “on”. Then working as a school administrator, summers were working days too, so I was still “on”. While “on” is a good state to be in when working, our bodies need some down time for us to be our best selves when at work.
Fortunately I had an old hunter’s shack in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains to escape and slow down. In the middle of the forest it was silent! What a great combination, slowness and silence! My mind and body appreciated the step away from work frenzy and home responsibilities so I could rejuvenate and be at my best when I returned to work. I should have taken more of these moments through my career, but at least I learned the importance of the slow and silent escape!
The first 12 years of my retirement I continued various work responsibilities, slowed down some, but only in true retirement, meaning absolutely no work responsibilities, have I slowed down and appreciated silence once again!
In reality, creating escapes with moments and places allowing you to slow down and be in silence can happen if we consciously choose to find it. A walk in nature on a trail where few people may be, or to drive on a local back road with no music or news on in your car, or to sit in a quiet space within your own home. It is important to look at what is best and easiest for you to accomplish and maybe maintain for your own continued place to escape for slow and silent periods of time.
What you do in those moments of slow and silent is totally up to you. You may sit, pray, meditate, sketch, read, or otherwise choose what is best for yourself since we all cannot escape to a shack in the woods. The goal is for our mind and body to relax and since I no longer have my shack in the mountains, I too find local escapes.
How often do we need to take time for this? You’ll know as you incorporate all of this into your life. We are all different with varied needs, so there is no formula to follow. Listen to your own body and mind and always do what is best for yourself. Support your well-being!
Where will you take yourself?