Today, as I pause during a busy European trip for both work and pleasure to hang out in a landrymat (or Laverie in French), I am reflecting on how good it feels to slow down, to have no agenda, if only for today. Of course with only 3 days in Bordeaux, and this being my last before moving on to Narbonne, it is tempting to rush out to the countryside to visit more wineries or take in a museum, but just sitting on the floor of this laundrymat (nice machines but no chairs provided) feels good and reminds me of the importance of stopping every now and then.
In general Europeans are better at slowing down than Americans. Over the week I have been in France I have witnessed this and my innkeeper here in Bordeaux agrees. We have had several interesting discussions about how rushed Americans are – a sad product of our work-a-holic culture and the scant vacations we are allowed which leave us cramming in as much as possible in those precious 1-2 week (or less) holidays. As a long time practitioner or yoga, I know the benefits of slowing downing, breathing fully, taking my time, being fully present to the beauty of the world around me…and trust me, in Southern France, there is much beauty to be had. Yet, I often forget, as I am sure we all do from time-to-time, some more so some less so, the beauty of just resting, of having no agenda agenda – of letting NOW! be your agenda.
The sun is shining outside after a week of straight rain and as soon as my laundry is done I have nothing to do and nowhere to be. I am calmly excited for what the day might bring. Check in with me on Facebook if you are curious what I got up to.
How is it different for you when you slow down? What is available to you in that space? Feel free to share your experience below.
Merci. A bientot!