Staying Slow When Everything’s Fast
Last Friday evening I became aware I was allowing someone I was working with to have too much say over how I was feeling. I was giving this relationship–a relatively new one–too much weight, too much power. And I didn’t like how this was making me feel: rushed, speeded up and unsettled.
Walking out of yoga the next day after a calm savasana (deep relaxation), I was immediately assaulted by cars aggressively vying for parking spaces, a blaring radio, construction noises and the ringing of my cell phone. It seemed everyone and everything around was was chanting, “speed up, speed up!” I slapped the off button on my car, sat quietly in the searing heat for a few minutes and heard a quiet voice ask, “Are you allowing others or circumstances to dictate the speed at which you live and move … or are you in charge of your internal speed?”
Sometimes I forget that I’m in charge of my internal state. I’m not a leaf being tossed about by the rain …or the wind …or the weather du jour. Even when everything around me gets crazy busy, I can choose how I want to “be.”
The other day after a heated argument with my ten year-old about screen time, he got up and walked out the front door. A few minutes later, he returned. He told me later he had gone outside to “take ten deep breaths and re-set.” (I almost did a back flip with glee upon hearing this!) He shared this was not the kind of day he wanted to have and he didn’t want what was happening between us to set the course for the rest of his weekend. And for how he felt.
I have a feeling that this reminder to pay attention to my internal speed– is preparing me for the upcoming fall (I’ll be training an entirely new support team and preparing for a book launch on top of my other work). Is it possible in the midst of a lot of activity to not get swept up by what’s going on around us? Is it conceivable that we can choose the speed at which we move through our day–even when everyone and everything around us is going 90 to nothing? (Parents have to do this daily!)
Yep, it’s possible. I’ve experienced it–in fact, many times. For me it always comes down to the question, “How Bad do You Want to Feel Good?” (read more). How important is my emotional well-being–feeling grounded and calm–and what am I willing to do to make this a priority?
Sometimes when my home or professional life are in utter chaos, an image of my mom sitting on our worn piano bench playing classical guitar in the middle of our large sunny kitchen comes flooding back. I can see my four brothers running madly around her, flashes of blue capes and slingshots whizzing by …while she plays Bach, trying to find her center and attempting to slow down while everything around her is speeding up.
I plan to call on this image frequently as I move mindfully into the coming months and am pulling out my calendar right now to block out 8 hours for a personal retreat in late summer to help me anchor so I can stay slow when everything gets fast.
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INVITE: Interested in exploring how to stay calm in the eye of the storm and attune and respond to your true needs and desires? Join me Oct. 19-21 for our New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat if you want to join us at the beautiful Kripalu Center for Yoga & Wellness in Massachusetts! We’d love to have you continue this conversation with us in our upcoming women’s circle.
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Photo at top: The beautiful tall, still, graceful pelicans of Port Aransas, TX residing over the sometimes calm, sometimes turbulent sea.