There are so many times I need to remind myself to remember and enjoy the simple things. These times are a proper stop-in-my-tracks kind of reminder. And what I’m always so surprisingly surprised about is how these reminders of simple things can be found in the simplest of places.
There’s a security guard who works near my apartment. I pass him most days and wave. On occasion, we’ll talk, but often I’ll cut the conversation short or it will go on forever.
I woke up one morning with busy-ness in my head. It was the kind of busy-ness that gives you a headache by 11am. I decided to take a walk to the cafe to retrieve a consolation treat before starting my day. I was about to pass the security guard, and everything in my body cringed, saying “no, you don’t have TIME for this now. Keeeep walkinng.”
I noticed my body’s reaction and realised that starting my day off with those thoughts was not going to be good for me. So, I put on a grin, went up to the security guard, and said hello.
After saying hello back, he added, “I’m very relaxed today.”
My smile became curious and genuine, and I asked him to tell me about it (knowing well the potential length of his response). He continued by telling me every little detail about what he had done that morning. Everything from putting on his shoes, to picking out his clothes, to making a cup of tea.
Instead of getting frustrated or annoyed with the intricacies of his morning routine, I let myself sink into his rhythm. I let myself learn from his sense of relaxation. Every simple detail he explained allowed me to let go of the unnecessary need I had to be busy. It was the first conversation that he ended instead of me. Magically, I walked away feeling completely relaxed and content.
I remembered that slowing down is actually like falling back, rather than action in order to obtain calmness. It’s the difference between working to be calm, rather than allowing calm. Notice these reminders of simple things in the most unassuming places–like a dog, or the pace of clouds, or walking a few paces slower down the street–and see where you can relax into it.