HOW I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SLOW DOWN UNTIL I HAD TO…
Has it been one of ‘those’ years? Was 2011 a year you’d rather forget, happy to seal it in your box of memories, buried deep within…
Or, was it a year of adventure and excitement? Did you learn alot discover things you never knew?
Either way, has this year taken its toll? Have you been wondering why you are so tired?
Well, that is normal, my friend. Sometimes the year – whether it’s good, bad or ugly – flies by at such lightning speed that we are often a little bamboozled by how quick the end of the year has come around. And, with that, we are also a little floored by how tired and shot our mind and bodies are.
Nothing really much changed over the last month – I mean, work was exceptionally busy, but life was the same. Regular morning yoga practice, seeing clients, lots of studying and of course a million things to do on the weekend. But I was tired, really and truly bone tired. When I stop and think about it, when I looked at what my life entails over the last month and then times that by 12 – it’s no wonder that I was tired.
It’s so interesting how, as the year winds down – instead of us doing the same, we ramp it up even more. With social engagements and parties filling up our diaries fast, you’d think that we were scared that the new year will be dry of all social lubrication.
It makes me laugh when people insist on meeting up this side of the new year. But I guess, there is this sense of ‘closure’ in doing so. Catching up, reviewing the year, discussing the future makes us feel a sense of completion and wholeness. It also connects us with other human beings and helps detract from the fear that maybe we didn’t achieve what we wanted to, or that maybe the new year – the prospect of new beings – is daunting.
And it’s this that has forced me to learn another skill. One that I resist from the core of my being yet one that I need more than anything else. And that is the art of slowing down. Why? Because I believe that we can feel, hear and see the answers to our questions and desires in the silence, the gap between our thoughts, the pause.
You’ve probably gathered that I enjoy being busy – I don’t really find much worth in doing nothing. Even when I am home I like to potter about – planting herbs, cooking, studying. Aware that slowing down is a challenge for me, I set it as a (loose) goal.
However, I had a little helping hand. Last week my boyfriend and I took ourselves away from Sydney and to the quiet little coastal town that is Fingal Bay, with the intention of doing nothing. This spot simply breaths ‘slow’ in everyway. There is no traffic, there are hardly any shops, there are miles of pristine beaches… but to press the point even more, there was rain.
There was alot of rain. With no where to run to – no place to go and ‘pretend’ the rain wasn’t there. I just had to be, in the moment.
I did things differently. I won’t lie – there is this voice inside of me that is afraid to unravel. Afraid that once I let go that I will lose that discipline, focus and motivation that keeps me going and that I will fall into this self-deprecating, unmotivated, slow way of being… but I now realise, to be ‘on’… I must switch off. To throw a ball in the air, you must start with it in your hand, down below. To see the light, you must experience the dark. Ying and Yang in it’s true form.
What did I do? Nothing radical, but to me, an achievement.
· I slept in (ok, only till 7… but still)
· I practiced playful yoga – making up sequences and listening to my body, instead of trying to open and strengthen my body
· I meditated to the sound of the rain
· I watched alot of movies – I sat sit and vegged (it’s been a while)
· I slow cooked – lamb roast for 8 hours
· I walked – slowly, and without purpose. Just to breath the air and marvel at nature
· I reminded myself daily that there are no deadlines, there are no schedules
· I enjoyed the company of my partner, in silence. Enjoying the chance to soak up his energy without filling the space with chatter
· When the sun was out I ate mangoes on the beach, snoozed under the umbrella and played in the water like a little kid
· I wrote in bed, I read in bed, I napped in bed
· I thought alot, about the new year and what I want to bring into my life.
So, today I ask you… as the year winds down, as the year exhales – releasing it’s final breath and just before the new year breaths new life… think to yourself. How can I slow down? What do I truly need right now to feel whole, balanced and refreshed.
And, in doing so, create the space to invite new experiences, people, adventures… or anything in your life you have been dreaming of.
Take it slow, find your grounding and then you can accelerate…
Signing off with exhale.
Pause. Listen. Live.