How to Slow Down: Be Present

I’ve traveled a lot these last few weeks and it has given me many opportunities to slow down.

That may sound odd, considering traveling involves making scheduled flights and being certain places at certain times.

But traveling also allows for opportunities to be present in the midst of movement.

For example, what do you do at the airport gate while you are waiting to board? While I bring books to read and even my laptop, I usually end up people watching.

I am absolutely fascinated by the fact that there are so many different people with their own lives moving forward, just like my own.

I see business people traveling for their jobs. I see students traveling to and from universities. I see parent’s traveling with young children after visiting family that live far away. Some times, there  are opportunities to talk to people while traveling, but most of this is simply observed.

Observation slows me down. I get lost in my thoughts wondering about those around me. What brings them happiness? What has caused them to struggle? What have they experienced to bring them to this moment where we all cross paths? These times allow me to be present and let go of whatever is consuming me.

The other way to be present while traveling is while driving. I got the opportunity to take a semi-spontaneous trip where I rented a car and drove across Michigan early on Friday morning to meet my husband for a special event. There is something peaceful about waking up before the sun and setting out on my way.

I didn’t drive in a whole lot of traffic, so while I wanted to get where I was going quickly, it was quite peaceful to have music playing and be present in those moments as I drove through God’s creation.

And even better than driving is being a passenger and observing everything around you. I took this picture on Saturday night as we were driving through the mountains, returning home. I don’t know why the sky was this color, but it certainly made me stop in my thoughts and enjoy the view.

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I am thankful to be home and not to travel for awhile. But I am also thankful for the opportunities to remove myself from the busy world and be truly present in my surroundings.

 

 

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