Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash
I’ve been submerging into the ‘art of slowing down’. Even though it wasn’t necessarily by choice Let me tell ya, injuring my back has slowed everything down.
I’m a lot better than before yet I’m still not as mobile and active as my usual self. I miss moving, i miss yoga, I miss jumping and prancing around (yes I’m almost 30 and still do that)
For those who know me, slowing down doesn’t come easy
I used to work in a fast paced environment, burnout was my default state. I had (and am still recovering from) ‘the need to always be productive’ syndrome. Also known as the ‘overachiever disorder’.
Can you relate?
No moment should be wasted. If I were to read, it better be for research or self help. If I were to workout, it better burn all the calories and tone all the muscles plus adding to my 10k a day steps goal. I was so obsessed with checking off all the items in my to-do list (and getting that satisfactory yet temporary high that comes with it) that I would burnout.
It wasn’t a matter of time management. I was simply out of alignment. Working from the outside in.
Chasing the idea that happiness and ‘rest’ will come once I do ALL THE THINGS
Letting my tasks drive my day to day and not tuning in with myself at all (because ain’t nobody got time for that!) I operated on an “always in a rush” speed. Ignoring the journey and just focusing on the destination. This was how I needed to operate for my advertising job but in real life it’s unsustainable.
I would get sick all the time. My immune system was weak, my spirit was broken and defeated. I had this lingering angst brewing inside of me
I’ve disconnected from myself, yet again…I didn’t know HOW to connect to myself. Where do I even start?! How do I go from 100 miles an hr to a steady and sustainable pace? And be at ease with it?
I guess you know where this is going: yes, slowing down
For the past year I’ve been diving into the concept of ease. The thing about slowing down is that you have to be ok with it. Find a way to be at ease. Prioritize your goals and take care of yourself in the process. That means making the time for physical and mental health care. Check in with how you feel, everyday.
That, my friend is what we call working from the inside out. Getting into alignment with who you are, how you’re feeling and who you want to become. So you can be less reactive and more proactive with your life.
I’ve slowed down a latte 😉 I prioritize my top 3 goals of the day and the rest are bonus. I’ve stopped pushing myself and feel so much more happier. Taking care of myself has allowed to be more productive, efficient and most importantly achieve a calmer and fulfilled state of mind. What’s the point of working hard if you can’t reap the benefits? #workhardworksmart
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
1) Start with your breath
Stress can cause shortness of breath. We breathe faster and take shorter breaths when we’re stressed out. Sometimes I even find myself holding my breath unconsciously. So how can you use your inhales and exhales to your advantage? First focus on your breath and notice how it is. Fast, slow… just let it be. Next, take a big inhale and feel the air washing through your body. Then, exhale and soften as you let everything out.
2) Sensitize with your breath
Do the above exercise a couple of times. Next, use your breath to scan your body. With each inhale opening you up and softening everything with each exhale. Is there soreness or tightness somewhere? Notice how you feel and adjust. Repeat this for as much as you want. From a couple of seconds to several minutes.
“Don’t do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention. Enjoy and be one with your work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
3) Move slowly and with intention
Move slowly but with intention: this is something Strala Yoga focuses on deeply. Don’t move for the sake of moving but tune in to how you move and how you feel. When you’re walking, notice your pace. Is it urgent? Gentle? Relaxing? Try to tune in with your breath as you walk. Feel every step…This mindfulness exercise helps you connect with your body instantly. You can do this while you’re eating, showering..anything.
BONUS: Play every day, as much as you can