I dedicate this blog to the people around me going through major transitions in their life. Those who are at the intersect of good and great. Those who have a scarce opportunity to decide either by fear or by love. Those who can seize the chance to act, to dare, to free themselves. Those who want to achieve tranquility and abundance.
To those, I ask: is the world busy or is it your mind?
I am fond of Asian cultures namely the Indian and Japanese. Recently I have been spending time reading books about the history of Japan, the culture, the philosophy, and the ways of living.
The commonality among Asian cultures lies in the spiritual dimension that still resists consumerism and fast-everything.
Over time, I have come to realize that when I slow down, I am more creative, I am more productive, and I am more serene.
Only recently have I learned about “slow Japan”; a movement advocating slow living since 1999.
Why? Because “slow is beautiful”.
You will probably think it is unrealistic and impractical. You would only until you open your mind, your heart, and your body. You would only until you see things with no cynicism. You would only until you accept what comes your way and what does not.
A reminder that this movement started in Japan – one of the fastest-paced economies in the world. Does it add up?
It is not straightforward, but it does.
“The things you can see only when you slow down” is a best seller in the world of mindfulness persuading readers about the path to peace and balance in the midst of demanding and overwhelming living.
Can you imagine a 5-min mandatory stop in your organization to breathe?
Try it. See its impact. However, try it with an open mind, with awareness.
The book is a beautiful combination of philosophical insights and practical signposts around relations, love, spirituality, and more.
The world changes, societies go through turmoil, economies rise and fall; as such it is important to work on our relationship with ourselves. The inward connection saves us from the highs and the lows surrounding us.
It helps us grow levels of compassion and resilience.
This book is also a piece of art as it also comprises a collection of 20 illustrations.
You read. You pause. You meditate. You think. You relate. You read.
Illustrations are pauses to slow down. To notice.
The book is a beautiful gift of wisdom in small doses to enjoy.
Additionally, I invite you to look at the “slow down” movement along other approaches to living the Asian way in general and the Japanese way. There is an array of related books.
Having read a few, things seem to fall into place.
As an example, I had a similar experience having read the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo.
Mind you, Marie is not a monk. She is not a spiritual junkie.
She is a cleaning consultant.
Along the same lines, Kondo preaches about the importance of simplifying, organizing, and cleaning spaces we live and work in. She then shares findings based on her experience that only converges with Japanese and Asian philosophies towards freedom, peace, and clarity. When you only keep what “sparks joy” in your space. When you only keep what you need (we only need what we use!), it reflects on your soul, your mood, your body, your mindset, and your relationships.
In a nutshell, slowing down and de-cluttering are inspiring.
Try it. At the end of the day, just like Billy Joel song says: slow down, you crazy child… But then if you’re so smart, tell me, why are you still so afraid?
There is so much ignorance in the world about other people’s religions and why religious fundamentalists of all faiths believe and act in the way that they do. It is this ignorance which has cost so many lives and will continue to tear the world apart.
Dear readers - This is a post written by a new contributor: Nour Shurbaji. Nour decided to review a book called "Thus Spoke Zarathustra".
2019 has been the kind of year that reminds you towards its end that what truly does not kill you makes you stronger. It has kept me out of breath!
One day you will feel lightness and enlightenment, selfishness and selflessness – for what matters most is you.