Slow down! Get more out of life

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by TheJourney, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. #1 TheJourney, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011
    If you are anything like the average American, you would be surprised at how little you are getting out of life, compared to what you could be. There are two main reasons why this is the case. First of all, people generally live in a conceptual frame-work, through which they rarely take the time to actually see and appreciate what is. For instance, the sky. If you really look at the sky, it is beautiful! I've been seeing it more and more. When I try to talk to most people about it, though, they don't really know what I'm talking about. I either get "Well, it's the sky," like they come up with this word, "sky," and have already defined it, and when they look up they just see that word, and that definition. They don't really appreciate it, cuz it's "just the sky," it's always there, no big deal. If they do acknowledge it, I can usually tell it's just in words. "Yea, it is nice" they say with a small amount of enthusiasm. This mild appreciation lasts for 2-5 seconds, and then we're on to the next topic. They likely won't think about how beautiful the sky is again for quite some time.

    This problem is added to, and in part caused by, our drive to do things quickly. Most of our lives, we are doing ordinary, routine activities. Most of us view these things as boring. It is just a necessary thing, which we must get done. Even if it's not necessary, it's just something to pass time. We're bored, we rush through it, and we get nothing out of it. Every thing you do can be enjoyable and pleasurable. If you become conscious of what goes on in your body, you would be surprised at how good you can feel just sitting there, or walking. Even uncomfortable feelings can be turned into pleasure, with a slight touch, massaging, or stretching. There are opportunities for pleasure with literally everything you do. People severely limit their opportunities for pleasure into a couple things they don't get to do that often. Sex and partying are often the only things people do that they genuinely enjoy. Think about eating. This is a wonderful thing, and no one even thinks about it. First of all, you're nourishing your body. You're providing nutrients for your body, and you are rejuvenating yourself energetically. This itself is nice, and that is just at a pure survival level. Generally, we as Americans get to eat a surplus of food. We are not eating just to barely survive. We can eat as much as we want. Whenever we're hungry, we can eat. Beyond that, we usually get to choose what we eat. We can eat things that we love, and find to taste very good. This is an amazing thing, that whenever we are hungry we can eat something that we love the taste of. Yet people don't even appreciate it. They just go through their meal unconsciously, and then move on to the next activity that they likely won't really appreciate.

    My point is this. Try to slow down when you do things, even if they are very simple things. The time in which you do simple things is, in fact, your greatest opportunity to make your life more pleasure-filled. During these times, you can really slow down and appreciate every little nuance. When you get an impulse that you would like to do something, don't feel you have to do it that instant. You can actually feel good, relaxing into an easy-going knowing that you WILL be able to do it, soon enough. Try to fully feel every single thing that you can, in every single moment. When you are doing something, even walking, try not to view it as a means to an end. What you are doing this instant is an opportunity for pleasure. Treat it as such. Feel all the subtle feelings, and glean the goodness out of it. Every feeling is an opportunity to feel good. The slower you go, and the more you pay attention, the more things you will feel, within the range of a small amount of actual activity. This greatly amplifies the amount of pleasure you can feel per activity, since you are stretching out the time, and amount of feelings generated, in this activity. Just in consciously going slow during simple things, you can actually generate more good feelings than your average person does during a stereotypically "fun" activity. If you can do this, the more fast-paced "fun" things of the Western ideal become infinitely more enjoyable than they typically are. You can enjoy doing one of these things one time more than most people would doing it many times. Even if you live a relatively simple life, you can have a lot more fun than other, more "normal" people do, simply by slowing down and being aware.
  2. I wish I could rep you but it just won't let me.

    That's an excellent insight.
  3. +rep . great post
  4. I get what you're saying, but you can just put that kind of thought process into practice.

    what I mean is, its not a state of mind you can achieve just by simply being like "Wow, this walk feels great and the sky is amazing and food taste great...but I'm simply walking towards my shithole of a job/school etc."

    We all do these routine things because it allows us to live, not spiritually. Physically. If I didn't do half the annoying, boring stupid routine shit I do, I wouldn't have food on my plate or a roof over my head. So although I agree with your post, its a lot easier said than done
  5. No one said it was going to be easy, meditation/being in the moment in itself is not easy, but the rewards are bountiful.
  6. #6 Echoes of Floyd, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2011
    I noticed this my whole life.

    It seems when everybody is a child, they are living life slowly. They are living with a certain 'perception' & 'feeling'. A feeling of mystery, not knowing the world completely. Appreciating the sky, the tree's, the birds. And using your imagination to the fullest. A couple of tree's can magically turn into a King's mansion where you live the next hour in complete enjoyment, just out of a couple trees and a beautiful imagination. A simple walk through the woods can turn into an Indiana Jones chases through the Jungle trying to catch the bad guys.

    Imagination is key. Humans are the wisest, most relaxed, and constantly in a joyous state when they are little kids.

    Then we grow up and grow out of it. The sky is just......the sky. That tree is just.....a boring tree....

    Now try this, so back to a place when you were 6 years old, building a fort or playing in the sprinkler. Now TRY and feel that 'feeling' or even see those 'perceptions', if done correctly your body will feel a euphoric feeling of curiosity & excitement.

    This is how you always felt as a child. And this is how you can always feel, right now.
  7. Sometimes you need to slow down so that you can speed up.
  8. Very well written. Eating is kind of a chore though.
  9. #9 Sarcasticalist, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2011
    "The object of the journey is not the end, but the journey itself."

    "Life isn't always about making it through the storm, but learning to dance in the rain."
  10. Often times I just go through the whole day in a sort of semi-slow motion way of acting. Just doing everything slowly, carefully, consciously and gently, even menial tasks like washing my hands, or cleaning the dishes. Also always breathing softly, mindfully and calmly helps a lot.

    It may sound silly but it makes every little action incredibly fulfilling. I recommend giving it a shot, even if it's just for a few minutes.

    Great post Journey, I tried to give you rep but it wouldn't let me.
  11. +Rep

    This is so true and probably has never been more true than in our current time and society

  12. Exactly! Washing hands is a good example. Things like that are great opportunities to practice this. I've actually started to enjoy cleaning, which I've never cleaned hardly anything before lol. Just being really focused, paying attention to every little thing, and appreciating what you are doing, and what you get out of it.
  13. Careful with this philosophy though... After you take a leak, if you shake it more than twice you're playing with yourself.
  14. Great post and agree with echo of floyd. I learned this through shroom trips lol. It's funny but serious. Definitely better to be personality type B, stop and smell the roses.

    Floyd your right about the child way, always being curious. But not everyone loses that. The happiest people in the world all resemble children. Very in tune with emotion, curious george, taking every moment as a new and learning experience, always wanting to get more out of life.

    Oh and OP, huge fan of the sky haha. When I was in high school, I used to walk everywhere. Would walk miles a day, to friends houses, then with friends, then home. But I can remember countless times walking home and just enjoying gazing up at the stars. Every night I had to find the big dipper. When I get the chance, I still do..
  15. When you start to see with the eyes instead of the heart, you begin to lose touch with the world around you.
  16. Really like what you wrote Journey and agree wholeheartedly we all need to slow down/pay attention/give up the multi-taking 24/7.

    Here is a quote I like, from an Author/Monk/Teacher whom I'm sure you're familiar with.

    Dr. FeelGood
  17. I've found the best way to get people to appreciate the sky, is by just appreciating it myself instead of commenting on it.

    When people see me just staring up into the sky, they usually stare up too like "wtf is he looking at?" and then they're like oh... just the sky... but he seems to be enjoying it?

    I think, it helps them to think :smoking:

    I also think the best therapy for anyone is growing flowers/food. I know it's random but eh, haha

  18. Haha, my sister is big time into gardening, and loves it and says how great it is. I could see myself potentially doing it, when I get a place of my own.
  19. People are always rushing towards something else. They aren't very comfortable in the present because they always want what they don't yet have or haven't yet reached. They think that as long as they fill their lives that's all that matters. Because something is always missing and the urge to fill this void is very strong, when you do, it never lasts very long and the urge to fill it again returns quickly. The problem is not just what you choose to fill it with, but why it's missing in the first place.

    It's hard to convince people that constantly wanting the latest gadget, computer game, car or TV, gets in the way. It's hard to show people that the desire to acquire more and more money isn't the right choice. We must come to understand that slowing down, looking within, letting go of the desire for that which we don't need, is far more important to our actual well-being than any pleasure we get from that which is momentary and illusory.
  20. hmm, i feel you on the sky man, i fucking love staring at the stars and the moon, everyone i know just goes meh, like fuck it's so beautiful it just gets me thinking about everything

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