The only thing that will always slow down your mind

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I’ve been reading Barry Lopez’s book “Arctic Dreams” all summer – it’s very, very long and I still have a long way to go – and the other night I read this line and I’m very grateful:

Watching animals always holds you back.

As someone who is always looking to slow down at various levels, I was very surprised by the suggestion that there is something that will “always” slow me down, at least according to Lopez. In my own experience, this has been true, even though I had never thought of it that way.

I was in our family’s cabin the night I read this line and the next day I realized that, in fact, every time I saw wild animals: butterflies, bees, moths, hawks, salamanders, toads, rabbits, deer, many different songbirds. , crows, and even a bear in the distance: my inner mental world suddenly shrank to something slower and more concentrated.

He was not actively watching birds or crawling or anything like that, just sitting on the porch or driving or walking. I realized that the animals I saw were actually changing my inner world by disturbing mental noise and rushed thoughts with a sudden clarity of slow, calm focus.

It was a blessing to notice this, to receive this gift of deeper awareness from Lopez and the animals around me. I find it interesting and charming that only “seeing” them can do that.

It was also lovely to observe that this has been going on all my life, calming me, healing me, calming me under my conscience. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’m so drawn to wild places and the natural world.

#slow #mind

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