INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - The holidays are a very busy time for me at the resort, and one day when checking the mail, I received a Christmas card that, if not for the words on the front cover, I would have hastily recycled without even reading. The words ironically said: "Slow matters."
Opening it up, I discovered a meaningful paragraph that has resonated with me ever since. It read:
"Turn your back to frenzy. Quiet your mind from the noise. When the race to get ahead, gets ahead of you, it's time to slow down. It draws closer with each step. A greater awareness. An inexplicable calm. A deeper understanding of the rhythms of life. This is the world of Slow Beauty. It is a place unconstrained by time, envy or vanity. A return to simple wellness. Only by slowing down are we able to experience our true selves."
It made me consider how often we allow ourselves to get caught up in the day-to-day chaos of our lives which makes us lose sight of the most important thing; ME! In this day and age, it is almost impossible to "shut down" and literally disconnect. Modern technology has made life possible to manage from our finger tips, allowing us to be more productive than ever.
The effectiveness of this technology results in completing one task and swiftly moving on to the next. We, as a society, have to reprogram our minds to handle life in such a manner and as a result, our quality of living and the ways in which we interact with others suffers, because after all, this new "app" is a lot more interesting than meeting new people and simply taking time to enjoy life.
This new pace, although seemingly efficient, cannot be realistically maintained for extended periods of time without having negative effects on one's psyche. And perhaps even more systemically dangerous is the likelihood of missing out on experiences, formative relationship building and the discovery of self that comprises the journey of life.
To a certain degree, we are all missing out on life without even realizing it as we hurry through the day trying to "maximize" our time while forgetting to appreciate our surroundings.
What if you had more time? What would you do if there was an eighth day in the week? A day void of errands, tasks, chores and projects. A day just for you... Would you start your morning with a hearty breakfast and a walk with your dog on the beach? Take an afternoon yoga class and after receive a massage from your favorite spa (wink, wink)? Then maybe end up cozy on your couch with a great book?
Your day may not look quite like this, but it's important to find what feeds your soul and do more of it. Julia Child once said, "Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."
I'd like to think life is as simple as that but we also have to remember that it can be marginalized just as easily. The key is to find the time for you, to do the things that interest you and to make it happen on a regular basis because, as Ferris Bueller said, "life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
The famous Dale Carnegie wrote, "Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto."
Share with me how you are going to slow down and feed your soul...
- Erica Korpi is Director of Stillwater Spa at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. She can be reached at Erica.Korpi@hyatt.com.