3 Ways to Slow Down Your World
Posted on January 16 2018
Some of you may know and some of you may not, but I spent the last 4 years dancing professionally for the NBA and NFL. A crowd of 65,000 is something I quickly grew accustomed to. A deadline of performing a routine on Sunday, up against the last hour at practice perfecting it. The buzz of 28 other easily excitable women constantly lifting me up.
It filled my cup up with positive (most of the time) energy and satisfied my craving for excitement. It was wonderful, but in my mind not a sustainable way to live a healthy life. I pushed myself past the limits, lost many nights of sleep, and had a schedule most would just laugh at because it was so ridiculous. I craved a quieter life, one that was full of exploration on my own, with my free will, on my time. One that made time for creativity, time for spontaneity, time for self care.
So, sure maybe you haven't had the same kind of craziness, but I think most of us can relate to wanting that slower, quieter life, more organic life. A life where we're not slaves to our inboxes. A life where we're not constantly running somewhere (where the eff are we running anyway?!). A life where we're not glued to technology and news about other peoples lives, but we peacefully live our own with certainty that where we are at right now is ok.
What I'm struggling with right now is how to keep a less busy life, but stay fulfilled energy and excitement wise. It may seem counter intuitive, but I've become accustomed, like many of you probably to that constant momentum keeping me going. Now, coming home after work, trying to just make a healthy dinner and relax. How do I do that? Or, how do I do that without feeling like I'm constantly missing out on something?
I think a lot of us struggle with that fear of missing out. It prevents happiness in the present. Especially if you are accustomed to living a big life, it's counter intuitive to go back to living a more simple one. In fact, everything in society tells us to go up, up, up, faster, faster, faster. When in fact, that has an end. It's called burn out.
So, then what?
I can tell you what's helped me, although I'm still very much a work in progress.
1.) Think about how much you're enjoying this moment. The other day, we spent a nice day at the park on a Sunday afternoon with a friend and her adorable little girl. I found my head spinning with things I should be doing otherwise, getting done. Luckily I was able to consciously recognize that as just the buzz I had created over years and years of being "elsewhere"- always one step ahead because I had to be to keep up with my own life. So, I just thought to myself, "How wonderful is THIS moment right now? No where else I need to be. This is one of those moments we will remember." I went through each thing that was lovely about that moment- the bright, winter sun shining, watching this little girl grow before our eyes, the interesting people watching to be had, the feel of the grass and ground beneath us. Pick out a couple of things about THIS very moment you're in that are lovely.
2.) Remember your mortality. When I get caught up in my to do list, I am always able to snap myself back into the present by thinking, "On my death bed, I will not remember those days that I spent just getting things done. I will remember the days we took time to enjoy life and surrendered." It's a good way to remember the days don't always just keep coming like they are now. There is an end, and we don't necessarily know when that is.
3.) Always come back to your breath. We've been doing a lot of meditations lately, and one think I've learned from that is that your breath is the one thing that is always in the present. Your breath can't be thinking about the past or worrying about the future. It just is, because it has to be in the present. If you are drifting into one time continuum or another, focus on your breath for 5 full breaths. Make them deep and slow.
I truly believe we are going too fast as a society, me being a big part of that wave. You can only go so hard until you break, and I think that is what is happening right now in the world. We are seeing a shift in the world, that isn't necessarily positive. We are out of alignment. I think we need to slow down, get back inside our own heads and own lives instead of in everyone else's we see online, and just breathe for a minute. Let's raise the collective consciousness together by making this a practice in our own lives.