Calmness, in its most absolute form, is a state of tranquil serenity and peace that our ancestors would have valued deeply. It seems to have lost its charm in our frenzied 21st-century lifestyles. Amidst our ceaseless emails, traffic jams, and never-ending work routines, calmness seems like a distant dream. However, calmness is not just a state of being, but a conscious practice. It paves the way for clear thinking, sound decision-making, and emotional resilience. Edna, my amazing wife and better half, often remarks that within the chaos lies a beautiful order, and calmness allows us to find this order.
We’ve been conditioned to embrace the fast-paced life for so long that the idea of slowing down sounds alien to us. Cloaking ourselves in a myriad of tasks and responsibilities has become a norm. On the contrary, exploring unhurriedness doesn't mean moving at a snail's pace or abdicating all roles. It's about making peace with the present, and letting go of the urge to always be 'elsewhere'. The concept of unhurriedness is reminiscent of a holiday I took with Edna to a quaint countryside village, 'Forgetting the rush, just for a while,' as Edna endearingly calls it. That experience turned into a lesson about calmness, and gave us an interesting perspective on life and how we treat time.
Reveling in the art of slowing down begins with self-awareness. Start by identifying the triggers of your stress and hurriedness. Be cognizant of the moments when you rush the most. Perhaps it is during your commute, during meal-times or perhaps when you are just about to start your day. Once you’ve acknowledged these triggers, work on consciously slowing down during these moments. See them as opportunities to flex your calmness muscles. Slowing down doesn’t mean you’re falling behind. On the contrary, it enables you to be more present, focused and productive. As a youngster, I used to love fishing. It was a leisurely task that required patience, and that implicit, calm wait rewarded us richly with prized catches, an apt metaphor!
Inviting calmness into your life is not a herculean venture. It starts with simple, mindful practices. First off, meditation. The practice of focusing your mind on a particular object or thought is seen as one of the best ways to calm the mind. Practice deep-breathing exercises during times of stress. Introduce mindful eating into your lifestyle. Savoring each morsel slowly, appreciating the flavor is a beautiful way of enjoying your meals while promoting calmness. Surround yourself with nature. Edna and I make it a point every month to go for a hike or a walk in the park. We call it our 'serenity quest'. Along with these, regular physical exercises, digital detoxing, and engaging yourself in hobbies that you love encourage calmness.
In conclusion, calmness is not some foreign concept that we need to reach out for. It resides within all of us and requires only quiet acknowledgment and practice. In the turbulent seas of our lives, calmness is that anchor that holds us steady, gives us clarity, and most of all, allows us to truly appreciate the beauty of life unfolding around us. So, dear reader, slow down a bit, breathe, and appreciate this very moment as Edna and I always try to do. Trust me, it’s worth it.