Lately, I’ve been hanging with jellyfish. I’m not going to the beach or swimming in the ocean — I don’t have easy access to that. Instead, I sit comfortably in my apartment and cue up the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s jellyfish live cam. Then I drift. For about 15 to 20 minutes, I get lost in the jellyfish softly gliding across my screen. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming. Other times I nod off, because the aquarium’s score is reminiscent of spa music.
Though my time with the jellyfish is brief, it offers a chill, meditative reset. Sometimes (a lot of times) the frenzy of the world snatches us up. Before we know it, we are responding to the immediacy of others and deprioritizing the urgency of ourselves. Taking a moment to breathe is not a common practice for a lot of us — and when it’s presented to us, it’s usually by way of the wellness industrial complex. We treat slowing down as self-indulgent (it’s not), as if we owe everyone else our time (sometimes we do) but not ourselves (we are a priority). So, these days I’ve been putting “hang with jellyfish” on my to-do list, because I deserve serenity. It’s become a staple among the others that currently bring me peace: finding comfort in a hot cup of oolong; listening to Ikechúkwú Onyewuenyi’s 32-hour curated playlist, “Chez Baldwin,” based on James Baldwin’s vinyl record collection; and rewatching A Different World.
We all deserve chill vibes to quiet the raucousness around us. Here’s to finding ways to slow down. Let’s make it a daily mandate, even if for only 15 minutes, to collect ourselves before we lose ourselves.
We want to hear from you, ZORA fam. How are you slowing down? Chop it up with us, respectfully, in the comments.