As I write this latest post from the comfort of my room at an award-winning design hotel here in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, not only are my thighs feeling the effects of endless hours of walking under the fierce sun since I fed my hunger with a bowl of congee (a popular Asian rice porridge dish) for brunch, but my mind can’t help but reflect on how amazing today was.
It was one of those days where a rough plan of what I wanted to get done (and in hindsight, perhaps packed a bit too tightly!) didn’t materialise.
What did materialise however, were some of the best moments I’ve had on this trip to the Far East thus far.
And it all started from the decision to check out the Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery, which for me, must be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the city.
From its lotus ponds to its bonsai tea plants, and from its golden pagoda and still lakes to nuns delivering offerings of fruit to Buddha, it just oozes serenity.
What was meant to be a quick visit before moving onto the next thing on my schedule, ended up lasting over four hours.
When travelling abroad, I can sometimes find my schedule being filled up pretty quickly as I look to make the most of my time in a foreign place.
And what this extended stay in the Garden and Nunnery reminded me of, was that some of the best moments in our lives can come from the times we can’t plan for.
Moments we are very likely to miss out on when rushing from one place to another or in my case, packing things into my schedule too tightly!
Walking through this deeply spiritual place slowed me down and helped to clear my mind.
It was meditational in nature and by being 100% in the present moment, I lost track of time with my attention drawn to all the beauty and life that surrounded me.
Modern life has a tendency of being like a visual recording that is played on fast-forward mode. The experience is rushed, moving quickly through all the many moments, to the point that very few, if any, stay memorable over the longer-term.
This feeling of the pace of life being quick isn’t helped by the ubiquitous presence of technology and in particular, the powerful force of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Slowing down is therefore an essential habit for enjoying life more.
Slowing down allows you to:
- regain focus through greater clarity;
- savour the current moment, while forgetting any worries about the past/future; and,
- experience more insights of creativity and wisdom
The rest of my day ended up being a collection of memorable unplanned moments as a result of my schedule turning out to be completely different to what I had originally planned.
Instead of browsing some of the markets I had in my mind for example, I had the luxury of being able to witness a stunning sunset with my partner in the comfort of a sailing boat and stumble upon some delicious, local eateries packed with locals and loyal customers.
Those markets can wait for tomorrow where that will be the only thing that’s definite in my plans!
When and how could slowing down make life and work a richer experience for you?
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