“Hey Erica! There is a sloth right outside our window!” comes from the bedroom of the bungalow I was staying at in Costa Rica. In that particular instance, the girlfriend I was sharing a room with happened to look out the window. It was that particular instance she spotted him, however I am thinking that it is quite possible that she could have looked out at any point that entire morning, and maybe that entire day, and that sloth would have still been there. They do not move fast.
I saw a cartoon a few weeks back that this guy had gone to the doctor to ask why he was turning green. The doctor said something like “I would suggest you start an exercise program. You are growing moss!” The sloth is the same way. You cannot see it from this angle however the fur on his back was green, literally growing moss because he moved so slow! The picture you see is taken with my iPhone and though my arm is extended as far as it will go, the picture itself is not zoomed in. This sloth didn’t have a care in the world. We opened our window and then our screen and talked to him, made fake sloth noises (whatever those are), took tons of pictures, made a movie (its a sloth movie and incredibly boring or I would post it) and it is really true, you cannot scare a sloth!
So I sat and watched him. He just hung there, would reach out to grab a branch or a leaf in what looked like a slow-motion movie. I watched him sniff a couple leaves, then open his mouth and bite down on one, then let go of that branch and go back to chewing and hanging around. We had plans that morning which interrupted our sloth-viewing session or I would have stayed and watched for a while. They move so slowly and so deliberately, or so it seems. Their moves seem so well thought out, every millimeter planned and executed with precision. We later learned that they only go to the bathroom once a week and to do that they come down from the trees.
They are interesting creatures and have a rather mysterious feeling about them. I would say there is a real sense of the present-time consciousness when it comes to the activities during their days. There didn’t seem to be much wasted energy on stuff that didn’t matter. It reminds me of moments when I find myself really present. Its that “work smarter, not harder” idea. Be deliberate with your time and energy. Many people walk around in life almost asleep. Have you ever driven your car and arrived at your destination without even knowing what route you took to get there or what you saw along the way? Have you ever finished dinner without even knowing what the food tasted like? Have you ever logged into Facebook, turned on a video game, or sat down in front of the TV and gotten up hours later wondering how 4 hours passed without you noticing?
This sloth reminded me of being present, making conscious decisions, and taking deliberate action. It is the idea of the “herd mentality” and taking a different path then the rest of the pack. I was standing in line and waiting to bathroom before a 5k this past weekend. I was 3rd in line for what appeared to be a full 3 stall bathroom…or full because the doors were shut. After waiting for the rotation of stalls to clear, I began to notice that the 3rd stall was skipping the rotation. Breaking free from the “herd” to deliberately walk up and check to see if the door was locked revealed a free stall. Who knows how long it had been free, however the line could have moved 33% faster if we were being a little more awake, aware and deliberate. Take the next 24 hours and check in with yourself during all the activities you participate in and make sure you are awake and really living life…maybe be a little more “sloth-like” and deliberate. We only get one chance…

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3 Comments and Trackbacks

  • Posted by Caro on December 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    LOVE your post! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Posted by Caro on December 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Love your post! Perfect timing to get this. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Posted by Nick Logan on January 17, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Can't wait to see the Sloth Action Movie!