It’s so easy in the fast pace of modern life to get going at such a pace that we forget to look around and notice where we are. This is especially true when we’re focused on a specific goal or destination. We lose sight of the journey itself and all the sights along the way.

Rock Wall

I was hiking the other day with my partner, who is a photographer. He took the photo above while we were walking the trail. It’s a close up of a rock. Now I would have completely passed this rock by in my rush to get some exercise, but Merlin, my partner, was taking his time, enjoying the beauty of where we were, and so this slowed me down, too.

Suddenly I found myself seeing my surroundings through new eyes. There were so many incredible rocks and boulders along this trail. Many of them had colorful markings and stripes, others had interesting shapes that made them look like animals. One of them I called The Mother Rock because she was round and bulged in a way that seemed very feminine and goddess-like.

My whole nervous system shifted as I changed my focus to take in the natural beauty. I came out of the thoughts in my head and more into connection with the dusty trail beneath my feet. I felt calm and happy. No longer in a hurry, I could relax and enjoy myself and notice more. It sparked my creativity and made me want to write this post.

As a regular meditator, slowing down is not foreign to me. I do it every morning before I begin my day. So I have a commitment to mindful presence. But even still, I can get into a goal-oriented frenzy at times, and lose sight of what’s important. And that, of course, is the gift in slowing down. We remember.

How about you? What slows you down and helps you remember what’s important