Slowing down to the speed of life: Book Notes

We all have within us the capacity for mental health. The entry point into this mental health is living in the moment.Our psychological experience of life, the experience of our reality,  comes from our thinking combined with consciousness.

There are two distinct modes of thinking:

  • Processing/analytical mode– to deal with situations where all the variables are known and relies on memory
  • Free-flowing/reflective mode –  with the unknown, with change and evolution and relies on insight

Learning these principles raises our level of understanding, and we gain insights into life. Our thinking, feeling and perceptions then change automatically.Thought recognition helps us to shift gears between the two modes of thinking and helps us function in mental health.

Feelings are mirrors of our thinking. Feelings can be comfortable or uncomfortable. If our feelings are uncomfortable, we are thinking in an unhealthy way. Once we recognise these thoughts, if we slow down to the speed of life we will be peaceful and happy.

The four keys to getting back in the moment are:

  1. Listening without interpreting or agreeing/disagreeing
  2. Seeing the wisdom in not-knowing
  3. Having faith in the free-flowing mode
  4. Putting your problems on the back-burner

The pitfalls to avoid are:

  1. Analyzing your problems and your life
  2. Judging yourself every time you realize you are out of the moment
  3. Living in the past

 The seven essential steps for reducing stress are:

  1. Knowing that inner peace is possible.
  2. Admitting that getting what you want isn’t the ultimate answer
  3. Learning not to deal head-on with or to struggle with problems
  4. Understanding that stress originates in your thinking.
  5. Learning not to allow passing thoughts turn into thought attacks.
  6. Avoiding the temptation to get caught up in the details.
  7. Lowering your tolerance for stress.

Understanding our moods, separate realities and thought recognition leads to heart-heart effective communication. Being truly present, letting go of expectations, talking from the heart and listening with nothing on our mind leads to effective communication.

The effects of speed-ed up parenting are:

  1. You become habitually reactive instead of responsive
  2. You take negative behaviour personally and not seeing the innocence.
  3. Little events become front-page news.
  4. You miss the good times.
  5. You lose sight of your compassion.
  6. You expect too much from your children.

There are seven primary benefits for slowing down while parenting:

  1. Your day-to-day experience will be heightened. Ordinary moments will become quite beautiful.
  2. You’ll become less reactive and more responsive
  3. Your loving feelings and your appreciation for the gift of being a parent will increase.
  4. You will model peaceful slowed-down behaviour.
  5. You will drop potential regrets about not having been there for your kids.
  6. Your wisdom will surface and you will know what actions to take and what decisions to make to raise your kids to their full potential.
  7. You will stop thinking that parenting is so hard.

 Strategies for being a slowing down as a parent are:

  1. Become more oriented to the present moment.
  2. Learn to accept each moment as it arises.
  3. Keep your thought attacks to a minimum.
  4. Practice early thought recognition.
  5. See moods with compassion.
  6. Practice doing one thing at a time.
  7. Live in the free-flowing mode as much as possible.

 Slowing down at work:

  1. Self-motivated, dynamic and visionary methods of working.
  2. Tortoise approach to time management by pacing: never doing too much at a time.
  3. Having rapport and being oriented to the present moment.

Satisfaction in the present moment is the key to enjoying life. When your mind has drifted away from the present moment:

  1. You feel bored – as if something else would be much more interesting.
  2. You get overly absorbed in planning future moments
  3. You are unusually tired, even though you thought you were relaxing.
  4. You are frustrated, even though you’re(supposedly) out enjoying yourself.

You enjoy yourself when you are in the present moment, lose yourself in something, have a quiet and clear mind and learn to relax.

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