Life can get overwhelming at times. We get caught up in the hustle of life everyday. Making sure our work is completed, the grocery shopping, our errands, returning phone calls, texts and emails, getting the kids to and from, spending time with our loved ones, cooking, cleaning, working out and the list begins to stack a mile high. It’s important that we all become students of learning how to slow down.
Yesterday I was feeling very bombarded with work and personal check list items. I could feel myself becoming stressed out, which was causing me to procrastinate even more because my growing list seemed endless and daunting. In the midst of this moment, I had two choices. I could get stressed out and become a worry machine. Or I could take a pause and slow down for a minute. I chose the latter.
The reason I did this was because I wanted to practice self-awareness, peace and the ability to become still in the middle of the big waves life was throwing at me. It wasn’t anything life threatening or even traumatic. It was simply the build up of life’s day-to-day tasks that were becoming heavy.
The first thing I did in this moment of recognition was pray. I prayed for inner peace and for motivation to get things done. I prayed to be calm while I worked through what life was giving me. I gave thanks that I actually had a big to-do list because this means that I am blessed enough to have such a life. I prayed that God would direct me in the way to go and to give me the wisdom needed to stay on His path.
The next thing I did was I unplugged from my computer and phone. I went and sat outside in the sun in silence for twenty minutes. I zoned in on my breathing. As I sat there, I did not let my mind fill with everything I needed to get done. Instead I focused on myself, relaxing and slowing things down with a greater purpose and intention at the core.
I then began to practice positive affirmations. I can get this all done. If I can practice sobriety for six years, I can tackle anything. I have everything I need. I have an amazing, powerful spirit within me to help guide me. I’m practicing self-care, self-love and self-awareness by taking a needed breather. I have big dreams and goals and in my pursuit of them, I will be challenged to raise the bar on my work and personal life. I am ready.
Lastly, I got quiet and just listened. What I needed to do became clearer. How to prioritize and where I needed to extend grace to myself also became apparent. I was able to see the things that truly mattered most in this moment, in this week and in my life. I was recharged with energy and was able to get up from this slow down session with greater enthusiasm.
After about 30 minutes of stillness, where I refocused my mind and intentions, calmness came over me. A willingness to work harder emerged that was not previously there. I was able to become more organized following my time out than I was before. The list became more manageable. I sat down and did more work in the hour following this breathing space than I had done in the three hours leading up to my obvious need to re-center.
Had I stayed on the path of the glorification of busyness, most likely I would have become more tired and stressed. I also would have missed the opportunity for new perspective that in turn allowed me to move through my life with more ease, more peace and ultimately more effectiveness.
Life is constantly whirling around us. Things are moving at lightening speeds. Deadlines come and go. Time is ticking so fast that we blink our eyes and things change. All the while, our responsibilities are ever increasing.
In the middle of it all, we must allow ourselves time to slow down. We should commit to taking a pause every once in a while as we let ourselves realign with life.
Sometimes we get going so fast, we miss all the beauty around us. We lose a sense of where we are actually trying to go in such a hurry. Before we know it, we look up and another year has passed. Not only do we end up missing the scenery along the way, but we also miss hearing our intuitive voice, our sense of direction and we often can miss what is right in front of us.
When we slow down we give ourselves time and permission to catch up with all that is chasing us or that we may be running after. Lets give ourselves time to recharge, even if only for ten minutes a day, where we put everything down and just sit with ourselves. If we give ourselves this valuable time to slow down, we will be more productive, happier and be more equipped to love bigger.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Take a moment and give yourself a nice big woosa. Ask yourself where and when you can learn to slow down more often. Try it a few times, especially when you feel most stressed. Watch what this time spent slowing down turns around and gives back to you.