I just spent a week studying with one of my beloved teachers. We spent the week learning mantra, kirtan, music and practicing deep, soulful yoga asana, meditation and pranayama.
I’m feeling this rebellion come up inside me against the rigid, linear expectations of our male dominated culture and the remnants of my childhood and upbringing. This looks like taking a much softer approach to all things- yoga asana (the postures), meditation, my schedule, goals, daily habits, relationships. A shaking free of gripping, tension, striving and trying SO hard. Because believe me, I really TRY and this creates excessive and unneeded layers of stress and illness. So I’m learning to slow down even more, my creativity is opening back up, this music, rhythm, ritam, is resurfacing and surging up in a whole new way and I am learning new things every day. But expect to move in new ways in my classes, to perhaps experience me differently, to hear a slightly different message. And you can like these changes or not, it’s all okay with me. But we are musical by nature, we are divine by nature, we are loving, healed and whole at our core. So the deepest spiritual practice is connection into this God place inside of us which often involves getting quiet enough to hear it.
So how to slow down?
Ahh, the million dollar question and something I am still learning and working with. But here’s what I’ve discovered:
1. Go on retreat. unwind with me here. but really, I find that taking time away, where we are forced to get off our phones, to clear our schedules, to allow someone to hold space for us to be present is absolutely crucial to resetting our systems and reminding us of our essential nature that does not rush.
2. Do not look at your phone in the morning until you’ve had quiet time. This is vital. Put it on airplane mode until you’ve had your meditation/practice/breathing/nature. The time between about 4 am to sunrise is called Brahma Murti, or “time of God” and this is when there is the most spiritual energy encircling the planet and the mental plane (something like the cloud for everyone’s thoughts) is quietest. This time in the morning is invaluable.
3. Little rituals make a huge difference: light candles, use soft lighting, turn on your diffuser, put relaxing music on, give yourself a massage.
4. Manage your schedule. Don’t pack too much in. Many of us, myself included, struggle with this. We are learning to say no to more things, especially things that are not in alignment with our path in life.
5. Chant mantra. Check out this book. It changed my life.
6. Turn on your favorite song and dance! Close your eyes. Be in your body. Trust your innate musicality and the divine wisdom that comes through the body in the form of joy.
7. Schedule down time. this is especially important for those type A/overscheduled/overworked folks.
8. Work with a somatic practitioner to re-wire your nervous system’s baseline for stress. When we are used to working all the time, it’s because our nervous systems are on overdrive. Resetting that is like resetting the thermostat. It’s totally possible to create a new normal for your body’s tolerance for stress and overdrive so you can more naturally set boundaries with yourself.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist and specialize in somatic stress and trauma resolution with years of my own work under my belt. If you’re looking for a guide and someone to walk with you as you do your work, click here to be in touch and schedule a free 15 minute empowerment session with me.