Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.  (Eddie Cantor)

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Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.  (Voltaire)

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Like many people, I had basic understanding of the sloth’s nature. I knew it was considered a slow and lazy creature. It basically stayed in one tree for most of its life. It slept most of its day (15-18 hours) and only came down out of the tree once a week to relieve himself. Everything else was done in the tree usually hanging upside down. To be called a sloth or to be labeled with anything sloth-like was an insult. According to the Bible, being a sloth is a major sin.

While the facts about the sloth are true, the implied judgments are not. After a wonderful Central American Cruise and a very personal experience, I now know that because I became friends with one in Honduras. I held it over my heart and cuddled it like a baby. This adorable creature wasn’t in a cage. It still lived wild in a nearby tree with several other sloths. Having the privilege of holding it was a major highlight of this journey.

Rather than lazy or unmotivated this sloth was the epitome of love and peace. To look into its permanently smiling face simple ignited my heart. It’s big round eyes seemed to peer into my soul. Rather than lazy, I now feel these divine creatures are wise. They waste no energy moving around unnecessarily in the name of productivity. They don’t juggle priorities or get ADD. They move purposely through their life with a single focus. They surrender to their environment and make the most of it. They waste nothing and leave no environment footprint. In fact, I would say they exert the least effort to gain the greatest results. They are content with what they have and want for nothing. They are the epitome of peace!

These adorable creatures have made a huge impact on me and my life. I am changed. Since returning I have trimmed my ever-growing daily to-do list down to three essential items. If I get these three things done I celebrate. If I don’t, oh well, I celebrate anyway. If I want to do more, I do and if I don’t, I don’t. It feels amazing.

Apparently I am not the only person to fall in love with these creatures. They even have their own day. October 20 is the International Sloth Day. How do you celebrate you say? By just hanging around and doing whatever you want. What a gift!

I will try to post at least one picture of me with my sloth friend but in the advent that it doesn’t come out, check out the photos at National Geographic. Look deep into their eye and let me know what you experience. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/three-toed-sloth/

How about your life? Are you over booked and over stressed? What can you do to slow down and remember my friend the sloth? Embrace each moment and don’t rush through them. Hang loose for awhile.

Be more sloth-like. Do fewer things. Be mindful of your environment. Move slower and intentionally. Live with peace and love. Keep a smile on your face and love in your heart. Be grateful for what you have. Live simply.

Until next time….I send you love, light, and laughter.

Heather Harder

About Dr. Harder: Dr. Heather Harder has spent her life empowering others spiritually, personally, and professionally through her empowerment coaching. She is blessed with the unique ability to assess, articulate, and activate change from the inside out. (She stretches people in the most profound ways …) Her goal is to get you to open to new possibilities and potentialities. Dr. Harder has been featured on hundreds of radio and TV shows across the country and on such TV networks as CNN, CSPAN, MTV, NBC and CBS. She welcomes the opportunity to speak to you and your groups. Check out my web site www.heatherharder.com (Be sure to claim your free gifts.) For more information email her at heather@heatherharder.com.