It was back in 2012 when my dear teacher @Judith Lasater shared these wise words with me “No Rushing” as a homework practice at the beginning of our 5-day journey into Restorative Yoga. A deeply nourishing form of practice where the practitioner is invited to be immersed with support in various postures using blankets, cushions, pillows, eye covers (see photo Instant Maui one of my favourites). I was living a ‘fast paced’ life in London and my mind flitted about in horror as I contemplated – how would l not rush around like an ant in an army and still be able to move around on the overpopulated London Underground? Was it even possible? As I look back now I smile at those memories.
The Gift of Slowing Down – What is that?
The gift of slowing down sounds rather nice, perhaps a luxury for some but for those of us juggling running a business, family life, working and much more how can we even dream of this possibility. I would suggest from the onset that it is a necessity to both our health and mental well being. Taking even a few moments for yourself to simply inhale and exhale is important, to connect within, to feel your feet on the ground, to observe your awareness moving through your spine and hips. Developing this as daily practice I notice how it gives me a different sense of who I am. It gives me a moment to take step back from the day to day running of all that is unfolding and take some much needed ‘me time’ and more importantly it connects me deeply with myself and those around me so that I’m not projecting out from feeling tired, irritable or overwhelmed. I’ve seen these unconscious behaviors act out in my own personal relationships and realise that exhaustion, chronic fatigue, and feeling tired and irritable have become modern lifestyle symptoms. They are also creating dangerous pressure cookers for people to let off steam as I recently observed in a road rage incident last week. I was deeply disturbed by how this ‘angered’ man had become so irate so as to get out of his car and abuse another driver at a red light stop simply because he’d been overtaken. Again this illuminates the importance of deep rest and relaxation. Imagine a world where people were relaxed and had enough sleep. Do you think the level of aggression and abuse would fall? I do.
Do We Have a Choice?
Sometimes our to do list of things can often feel overbearing and never ending. I would also like to highlight how this scenario embodies a conscious choice that each of us can make to shift, to reframe our awareness from ‘reaction’ to ‘perception’. To notice that we do have, a moment to pause, to make a choice, to take a few deep breaths. To ground, centre, inhale and exhale consciously. As we step back, we can begin to notice that we are not our thoughts and perhaps we begin to observe that subtle shift in our awareness. As we take time daily to step back and connect we can perceive the bird’s eye view and all that is necessary for us to reawaken our inner knowing, to trust that it will be ok (even if it’s not OK), or that this too will pass, that I need to take a nap, that I need more support, that I am holding onto something in the past which is no longer serving me. Whatever the insight or perhaps simply a long exhale and letting your shoulders drop down and noticing the awareness moving through the spine, hips and towards the soles of your feet. I invite you to get curious, to give yourself the gift of “No Rushing” today.
We will be exploring this further at Sunday’s Workshop April 14th in Liverpool City Centre. More details below: