Little did I know when I got into real estate in the wine country that I would dream of living life in the slow lane. I would say that my life is a lot busier now than it was when I lived in the heart of Sydney and San Francisco. For many of us who are fortunate enough to live in Napa or Sonoma Valley, escaping hectic, tech-fueled, multi-tasking was one of the many things that drew us here. Of course, there’s no need to move at a snail’s pace, but mastering the art of slowing down is crucial to going through life with true attentiveness and focus on our purpose. While technology is wonderful, the incessant pinging on our cell phones and deluge of emails in our in boxes, coupled with the expectation of an immediate response to those pesky texts and calls can be unbearable at times.
They say that one of the first steps in learning to live life in the slow lane is to recognize that slowing down is a choice open to us all. If you are considering making that choice, here are the top five tips for rediscovering simplicity in your life as reported in the Huffington Post:
- Treat yourself to some silence. Silence can mean different things to different people. The early hours of the morning, the serenity of the countryside, the few moments after you turn off the motor of your car, or even the simplicity of a clean and tidy room. Do your best to seek out this kind of silence, at least once a day. You deserve it.
- Do one thing at a time. Contrary to popular belief, only about 2.5 percent of people have the ability to effectively focus on more than one task at a time. So for the other 97.5 percent of us, multi-tasking makes things harder, not easier. Give yourself a break — one complete thing is plenty to be focusing on at a time.
- Quit trying so hard. That might sound like an astonishing suggestion, but one of the things that we learn from meditation is that exerting effort, particularly to try to force the mind to do anything, is often counterproductive. Try to take a relaxed approach. Think of an athlete or a performer, whom you love — do they make it look easy? It’s that level of relaxed effort that you’re looking for.
- Remember the blue sky. When you get in a plane and rise above the clouds, you see that incredible bright panorama of blue sky. The mind is no different; thoughts are like clouds, and although they may build up and even look stormy, the blue sky is there all along. Just remembering this is enough to help you get a little more clarity.
- Learn how to meditate. Regular readers maybe saw this one coming, but I would recommend starting a meditation practice by downloading the Headspace app and starting the beginner’s course, Take10. It’s free to download and only takes 10 minutes a day. And best of all, unlike the monastery, you get to keep your phone.
I hope you find these tips on living life in the slow lane valuable. If you are looking to live life in the slow lane in Napa or Sonoma Valley, please contact me at 707-738-4820 or email [email protected]. I am happy to share my insider information on quiet offerings of wineries, vineyards, estates, new construction and homes here, as well as the extraordinary properties that are not available on the open market.