Slow Down! We’re not going anywhere.

Slow Down! We’re not going anywhere.
August 23, 2013 Jess

So answer me this, when you approach an intersection and the light goes yellow, are you more likely to go for the light or do you slow down with caution?

I’m going to take a guess that most people are guilty of gunning it through a light.  To be truthful, I have absolutely done that in the past, many times. Many, many times. In fact I used to be a crazy driver.  Completely operating the car, and much of my life for that matter, from my ego with speed and many times a bit of rage. Let’s just say thank goodness I followed the advice of my psychic Maria and started meditating, things are much more calm in my world and my mind isn’t noisy anymore. Well, compared to Ghandi I’m sure it’s a heavy metal rave but what I’m saying is that I see the world, I am aware of how most folks live and have lived it to a degree.

During my first reading with Maria in June 2010 she asked me if I had any more questions for my guides before we ended our session I asked if there was anything they wanted me to know.

She said ‘YES!  They want me to tell you to let go’.

My reply, ‘yes, I have, I’ve let go alot’.

Not a giggle but a full powered laugh comes over the phone.  She tells me that I’m the big joke on the astral plane and that I needed to start meditating.

‘Fine’, my competitive spirit replied, ‘I’ll let go better than anyone ever has, I’ll be the best meditator on earth!’

Well it’s been a hell of a ride because you can’t bring ego into meditation but I did. I have climbed that mountain and plummeted down the other side.  I laid in the valley for a while, as I like to say, realizing that no one was going to pick my ass up I climbed back up again.  This time without so much equipment and with me the courage to be vulnerable.  So yes, that’s pretty much what all this quiet mind stuff entails.  If you pursue a consistent yoga practice; asana, mediation, pranayama etc. you will uncover the ‘deep darkies’ and they will want to move but not before trying to get the best of you.  I don’t believe there is any way to avoid it but if you can be courageous enough to hold presence as they pass you will find healing on a new level.

Since I started with meditation and truly practicing the art of letting go I have experienced profound changes in my being. I hear it in my voice, feel it in my actions and notice it in my thoughts.  I was not always like this, when I was younger I was on a fast track for the go, go, go ego driven life.  I was good at it but I remember being in my twenties and feeling tired.  That didn’t feel right, I was too young.  Thankfully my path steered me to massage therapy first, receiving it to relieve stress, then yoga and holistic medicine.  Each making huge impressions on my life and facilitation for change.

So back to the traffic light.  I have a new question. Why are people in such a rush to make a light that they are willing to risk their life and the lives of others?  In the Untethered Soul, Michael Singer writes about our reality as humans on the planet earth.  He reminds us that we are on a big ball spinning around in the middle of nowhere in outer-space.

Yup, that’s all we are.  Just a population of life, on a ball, spinning around, in the middle of nowhere in outer-space.  That said, I’ll ask again, where are you going in such a rush?  Why can’t we just be here now?  Doesn’t it seem pointless to live the go, go, go life when we’re just spinning in circles, literally, on a very grand scale.  The true joy, love and gratitude that come with slowing down and just being have nothing to do with go, go, go.  So by taking on a practice which can be as simple as a 10 second breath or a 90-min yoga class, you are providing an opportunity to balance out the hectic energies in our world.  Consistency is everything and all of these ideas connect well with the other so mixing it up is great!  Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay aware, present and uncluttered.

Relaxing Breaths
Breath in for a count of 2 and breath out for a count of 4. Do this for a minute and notice the difference.  Here’s another good one but some may find it a little tough at first because of the longer time.  Breath in for the count of 4, hold for 7 and exhale for 8.  Repeat this 5-10 times then return to your normal breathing pattern.

Chanting Meditation
Find a quiet space to sit, even 5 minutes will make a difference, a chair is fine but not lying down.  The yogis have one hard core rule when you sit to meditate, you sit to meditate – no sleeping on the job.   Repeat words So Hum – So on your inhale and Hum on your exhale.  These words simply translated as, I am that.  I am pure awareness.  This mantra is calming for the body and mind.  Even 5 minutes a day can make a profound difference in your life.

Massage
Healing touch activates your parasympathetic nervous system, your healing nervous system.  The nervous system that will facilitate the release of stress and bring a calming effect over your entire being.  It is also a major BFF to the circulatory system by increasing blood flow throughout the body. After 9 years of working with people on my massage table I can tell you with unwavering confidence that as a society, we have some serious flow issues.

Yoga
Don’t worry my fellow Type A crazies they have developed a whole genre of yoga for us, Power Yoga, even better Heated Power Yoga.  Personally this is my favorite type of yoga because its keeps me strong, long and offers me hardcore challenge that I work to lean into with deep level of comfort.

As far as yoga and injury is concerned, I had a client recently tell me that yoga was dangerous.  I think I’ll address that statement in an entirely separate blog post.  In the meantime, a reminder to all that yoga is not a competition and if you go too far by not accepting the reality of your practice you will hurt yourself.  It’s a personal practice and one to be honored.

Mindfulness
Ok this one is great because you can do it anywhere, anytime.  How about now? As you read each word on this blog notice your body, notice your breath.  How does the surface you are sitting on feel?  Are you breathing steady?

Next time you are emptying your dishwasher or mowing the lawn tune into your breath, this will bring you into the present moment.  Experience your task fully.  Are the dishes warm?  What does the glass feel like in your hand?  Is your body fluid as you push the lawn mower?  By simply experiencing a task instead of merely doing it you become aware of the present moment.

So the next time you see that light turn yellow, tune in, be mindful of what you are doing.  If you are going to run it then run it.  If you are going to stop then stop.  Just notice your actions and do not judge them.  Seek assurance in knowing that everything is exactly as it should be because it is the reality of the moment.

How do you know if the experience you are having is the one that you are supposed to be having?  Because you are having it, that’s how.

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