The Year of Yes, ep. 23: YES TO GOING SLOW

awesome street art in Williamsburg by Mike Makatron

awesome street art in Williamsburg by Mike Makatron

It’s been about a month since my last post. It’s because I’ve been purposely living life more SLOWLY. Summer is a great time to slow down - the weather is hot and humid, the days are long, and co-workers are away on vacation making getting things done take more time. But by slow, I mean easy, relaxed, and leisurely - not languid, sluggish or heavy.

How does one slow down? 

  • DO LESS. Pare down the to-do list to the ESSENTIAL + URGENT items. Leave the others. Disconnect from the e-devices for several hours a day. I loved the New York Times article on JOMO (the JOY of missing out!)

  • BE PRESENT. Feel the sun on your skin. Notice the gorgeous summer blossoms and foliage around you. Taste the fresh produce that’s bountiful right now.

  • LISTEN. Focus on listening intently to the person who is talking or the sounds that surround you. Don’t interrupt and don’t give your two cents. Just listen. Hear the birds' predawn chirping. Enjoy the sounds of the trees rustling in the wind. Notice the sounds of the summer rainstorms. 

  • WALK SLOWER. DRIVE SLOWER. MOVE SLOWER. Yes, you need to get it done. What is five extra minutes? Really, ask yourself if getting somewhere faster to save a few minutes is worth the stress. Do a walking meditation. Wander. Meander. Amble. 

  • DAYDREAM. Research continues to emerge showing us that daydreaming is an amazing (ahem, essential) tool to cultivate creativity and new ideas. 

  • PLAY. In the garden. At the park. Board games. While swimming. And laugh.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” 
― Annie Dillard, The Writing Life


How do you slow down?  🐌

Sending positive thoughts and energy to you to make time for some dreamy, quiet hours. You most certainly deserve it.


The Year of Yes is a weekly photo-and-word installment by Dr. Shah written with the purpose of evoking hope, resilience, and a gentle movement toward healthy change in all of us.