Everyday tips – what we can learn from children’s books
Do you know the feeling: you are running around like crazy, most of the time on autopilot mode, trying to perform all the different roles that you are playing in life. At the end of the day you feel exhausted and most certainly were not able to do everything you had on your list.
The funny thing actually is that most people thought that technology would give us some time back by organizing our tasks, meetings and social life (or maybe it was more like a marketing argument). In fact it is quite the opposite, more and more people seem to have less time.
Well, here’s a story from a children’s book that I came across, which might speak to you as it did to me:
It talks about a little snail, a very slow one, which one-day was surprisingly invited for coffee by some “racing” snails. The only problem was that the meeting point with the faster snails was far away and our little friend actually very slow as it enjoyed every moment of every journey. It nevertheless decided to accept the invitation and to hit the road directly in order to arrive on time two days later.
As it so happens, on its way it passed through a field of fresh salad and found that it had never seen such fantastic green leaves in its life. It hence stopped to eat. Of course it became tired after a while and found a perfect place to sleep. Awake again, the snail thought: “oh no, I am going to be late” but then it simply decided to do what it always did: enjoying the present moment and not to worry anymore.
As you can imagine, in the end it arrived (obviously) too late and the party was long over. A little bug walking by wondered why the snail was looking so happy and content although there was nobody left and questioned it. The snail simply responded that it did not matter at all as it could now enjoy the journey back even more and do everything slowly as it was used to.
Writing this, a large smile comes to my face… we should all read children’s stories from time to time as they have so much to teach us!
We all have a choice when it comes to our own lives: either we run through it or we choose to walk through it more mindfully, enjoying single moments as they arise and living here and now.
Maybe you’d like to try this different way of living!
Some tips on how to get you started:
- Take your time: when you get up in the morning, instead of jumping out of your bed, stay there, warm, peacefully and smile to yourself.
- Being mindful of little things: taking your shower, brushing your teeth, making a cup of coffee or tea can be something enjoyable. Try being fully present and bring your mind back to what you are doing when it wanders away (as that’s what minds do).
- In your car: before you drive off, take a moment to notice that you’re breathing. Don’t switch on the music or your hands-free-device but focus on how you’re feeling, tuning in to your body. If your mind wanders away judging other drivers, that’s normal; simply label it as a “judgment” and bring it back to yourself, breathing and driving.
- In public transport: leave early enough so that you can enjoy the walk to the bus or tube station. Don’t rush, breathe and notice the colors, the smells, the sun…maybe you’ll notice something that you never did before!
Let me know how it goes 😉