In a fast pace Singapore society, I am finding it harder to think and reflect about things. Everybody wants it fast and quick but the fact is reflection takes times and sometime very long. Started last year, I wanted to slow down my life and give myself a little more room and space to reflect and think. I decided to quit my job and started travelling quite a fair bit. Before you start to envy my decision to do that, it really comes with a price. I know…I know… You must be thinking that I am so into Eat, Pray, Love kind of a thing…I guess so but I beg to differ. Eat, Pray, Love is such a fantasy but mine was so real. It was scary to see your bank account going down the slope everyday. I only had expenditures in my account and no income at all. Trust me, slowing down demand a high price. Of course I am thankful that I have a family that really supported me and I am grateful to them. Anyway, that is not the point today. The point is we have so little time to spend thinking and allowing matters to settle down in our hearts. Perhaps this is not allowed in a complex society like Singapore.
When I came back from Thailand in March, I was very determined to never rush in my life. Since then I make it a point to come out from my house early so that I can slowly…indeed slowly, with the speed the train is going nowadays…take my time to reach my destination. I also make it a point not to run for buses if I obviously know that I am going to miss them. Let it go…cos another one will be coming soon from around the corner. I try to walk slowly as well. In the past I used to walk at a very pace because I am always rushing for time. Today, since I am not in a rush, I never have to walk fast.
This morning when I was sitting down at Starbucks and I was looking at the last mouth of cinnamon swirl on the plate, I began to think why do we always take a photo of the food we are about to eat at the beginning? How about the just before you finish it? I know this sounds weird but I decided to take a snapshot of this last mouth of swirl and post it as a graphic here. Ok, what is the connection? The point is that if we were to slow down and give yourself more time to digest and reflect, things will look very different most of the time.
I must say that it is not always easy to slow down, especially when others will be rushing you. They will be wondering why you are so slow. I am so glad nowadays when I bring students for nature appreciation walk, I am teaching them to slow down and to take time to see the world through a different lens. Keep calm and slow down….take time to appreciate the people next to you…the flowers in the garden…the trees along the side-walks and the skies above us.