In praise of slow

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How is the speed of your life? Do you feel like you have no time to do everything you would like to get done? When someone ask's you how you've been, is your default answer "busy". How does that sit with you?

So many of us feel time poor, overcommitted and under rescourced for all we have on our plate, so we rush. This rushing leaves us feeling harried, impoverished for time, empty of rich experience and heading towards burnout. It might be time to slow things down a little, to simplify, to BE. 

I have recently taken a further step towards simplification, and I've spoken about this desire so many of us have to push to make things happen in previous posts, but like any lesson there are layers and continual life circumstances that show us the patterns we need to be free of, and keep a commitment towards. Breaking the pattern of busy can be such a lesson. 

Even as a yoga teacher (and sometimes because I am a yoga teacher) I am a recovering speed freak, always been proud of my seemingly unwavering ability to get things done quickly, be a woman of my word, take affirmative action on my dreams and work towards my goals and visions. However, I am happy and proud to say I found the wisdom within, and been grateful for the gentle conversations that led me to re-think my goal orientated way of living, and I am honouring that. Ahh, and what a relief that is.

I was so drawn in (like many of us are) to the lure of "more". For me more didn't take the form of more material possessions, I've long given up feeling like I need objects or new things to make me feel whole, no for me more was taking the form of how much more can I become as a teacher, how many classes can I teach, how many peoples lives can I enriched with what I have learned, and am so driven to share. I was trying to hold onto my city and surrounds classes, out of both a love for the students, but also out of a sense of duty and service, but also at the heart of it, I was fearful to let go of the chapter of my life that it represented. It's said we are the product of our environment, and for most of last year I was straddling two environments, thinking I was getting the best of both, but I now realise I was diluting the richness of both. So as with all things, less is more. 

 

Finally now, in stillness and commitment to my new surrounds, I have taken the cues to simplify, to slow down, and I am running with it (but trying not to be A-type about it), but I wanted to share with you, in the hope I can inspire you to also simplify things a little for yourself if it's needed, and take pleasure the space you are able to create, be you in the city or the country. 

In yoga, our practice provides us space in our body, and if we allow it we can also create space in our lives. It takes wisdom and sometimes courage to admit that we are just trying to do too much. Enquiry deeply into self in this area with an intention to change for the better can result in some pretty massive life shifts, but it can also start slowly with small habit changes, and the art of observing our lifestyles, our values and how we expand our energy, and to what means are we trying to reach. 

In mark of my commitment to simplify, slow down, to pause, on Sunday just gone I made a resolve not to use the car and consciously keep things on foot, which meant with our distance to town and two small children meant not going past the end of our street. Our day was rich, full, connected and ideallic - and we didn't spend a cent. We walked down the street to pick wild blackberries, made muffins on our return. We stopped to chat to sheep, a koala, and watch the changing textures beneath our feet as we walked. We pottered in the veggie garden harvesting kale for chips, rhubarb for sweets, and mint for tea. I made the job of collecting tree debris (there are many shedding gums on our property) into a fun one for the children, and an exersize in connecting to the elements for all of us. We are of nature, and we need so deeply to connect with nature - daily. The children made a cubby house out of strips of bark, and my daughter without suggestion paused to make art from the nature that surrounded her, while I gathered spent branches and sticks in a somewhat primal nature for a stock pile of kindling for the chilly months ahead. We read, relaxed and played. My day was the best I had in a long time, because I gave myself permission to simplify and surrender to the beauty and simplicity of  moments of the day. 

In our haste to make our lives the fullest they can be by adding more activities, distractions, and entertainment we can rob ourselves from the richness of experience that can be had in the simplest of forms. I am not saying we need to completely disconnect from society or pleasures of the senses, but simply to remember to keep things in balance especially if we are prone to living life at full pace, full plate kind of way. Living fast will catch up with us, it will effect our health, our relationships and our bodies. Often we even rush our meals, don't stop to savour the tastes the textures and we are left wanting more, much like when we rush the richness of simple actions in life, life is full in action but empty in depth. When we rush we miss out on the depth of experience that long expansive conversations can offer. When we rush we feel like we are doing everything, but often achieving little because we are not bringing our full witness and energy to bare on the act we are in, our minds is elsewhere. Being in a rush is our ego's way of staying in charge, if we don't give ourselves enough time to slow down, then maybe our true spirit or source won't emerge, and the ego stays in charge. 

I would love to hear from you some ways and habits which have helped you to go a little slower, together let's remind and encourage each other gently to pause for the moments. For these moments are our life. 

With light, love and truth. 

Lauren