Some will read this and wonder why they should slow down. Isn’t it okay to keep moving along with the progress of modern times? Isn’t it, in fact, necessary to do so?

There really is no right or wrong answer; rather it is a question of how we feel about our lives. My experience has taught me that there is too much stress caused by the frantic pace at which most of us exist. The result is a disconnection from the world around us and our sense of being alive in it. People report feeling trapped, powerless to effect any meaningful change, coping as best as they can yet knowing they don’t feel the way they would like to feel.

The key is to step back from the edge, learn to get involved in the process rather than constantly longing for the end result. This does not mean giving up our goal-oriented lives-simply modifying them, finding a balance between our productive and our emotional selves. This enables us to lives as whole beings, fully alive.

In response to the pace of our modern world, learning how to successfully shift time can be one of the keys to achieving both health and longevity as we continue to age.


Since all of us feel pressure, we forget that time can be changed and shifted. In response to the pace of our modern world, learning how to shift time can achieve both health and longevity as we age.

In my workshops, I recommend five exercises:

o Come into the moment. This entails nothing more extraordinary than finding a balance between hyperproductive time and nonproductive time–without thinking of the latter as inefficient, lazy, and boring.

Think of it as a cigarette break–only without the cigarette. Several times a day you should let yourself relax and become fully aware of the present m ment by focusing on something simple, such as your breath. Let your senses take in as much as they can and allow your emotions to rise into consciousness.

o Set aside “boundary time.” Pick a part of each day and allow nothing to intrude upon it. Don’t answer the phone or turn on the radio. Try something slow and meditative, such as gardening or walking in nature.

o Be spontaneous. Make no plans for an entire day. Just go off and have an adventure. Court serendipity. Explore new territory–without any schedule.

o Create “time retreats.” These are longer timeshifts that affect your normal rhythm. Vacations are a perfect arena (“island-time,” a general slowing down, is often experienced by visitors to the Caribbean), provided you don’t spend them as a busy tourist.

o Do something you love. Strong emotions bring you into the present better than anything. A moment can last a whole morning when you’re doing something you love. Most of us don’t because it often leads to guilt.


Slowing down is a good way to appreciate the present moment. I suggest developing rituals:

o Drive 10 mph slower. Many of us drive fast, even when we’re not in a rush. Try a new route or simply notice the old one more.

o Take a moment before eating. Saying grace or just sitting quietly reminds us to notice our meal–instead of wolfing it down.

o Spend five minutes in your driveway before entering your house. Sit in your car and listen to music, take deep breaths–anything to allow a shift from work life to home life.

o Shower after work. Just for a minute or two, to “wash away” the day’s work and allow you to leave it behind for the evening.

o Wait a few rings before answering the phone. Many people rush to pick it up immediately, prolonging their hectic moods.

o Honor the process itself. Many of us practice our own rituals naturally, in our hobbies, etc. Whatever the task or activity, slow down, do just one thing, do it well, and allow yourself the sense of accomplishment without feeling the need to get it done and move on.

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