Updated: May 4
No, I am not talking about the terrifying movie starring Harrison Ford... but what lies beneath the surface of the busy-ness and doing?
I know this is a conversion we all seem to be having, it's featured on podcasts, the news, your favourite celebs are even muttering about it. The idea of slowing down.
In this article, I wanted to bring my own experience into the conversation...
I’d like to add on the additional idea of not only doing less, but striving to be less stimulated, tuning into the niggle to grab the phone the minute boredom starts to rise up into our consciousness.
I've been pondering the skill of multitasking, I will hold my hands up, I do this. When I am stressed, overwhelmed, sad, lonely... I realise I'm trying to do three things at once, or I'll start a job and drift into doing something else before I've completed said task. This is a classic sign of an excess of Vata(air in Ayurvedic teaching) flighty, quick, distracted, lack of focus(https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/learning-ayurveda/balancing-vata/).
Today, a pocket of anxiety appeared in my heart, as this week will be 'normal', the last two weeks have been intense. It started off with a difficult date, a year since I lost my Dad in a road accident. Time affects grief, grief affects your relationship with time. (This article is not about grief, so I won't spiral into a different topic, but I will write about it soon as I've started to feel the need to share).
I then moved to a new home two days later, first time buying a place, we completed 1 hour before the movers arrived, and then when they did turn up, they were very sullen. I felt like I was a burden, I even joined in to help because I wanted to speed up the process and I couldn't handle the moody atmosphere! Then unpacking, while teaching and getting the studio ready to open, followed by a week of prepping the studio for a photoshoot... I'm not listing the madness of the past two weeks as a badge of honour. It's been too much, too busy and I could feel my adrenaline and nervous system working at a higher rate...
But sometimes life happens like this, it gets busy, frantic, emotionally challenging. So what can you do? What did I do?
I acknowledged that slightly empty feeling that arrived in the calm after the period of being busy, I think this is what lies beneath. When it's been all work and go, it's almost like the core of who we are gets neglected, the wheels have been spinning but with no nourishment. I also noticed, what I can wiggle bum(stay with me): that need to be doing something, getting things done, ticking off lists(or just realising you're watching TV, while looking on eBay and eating your dinner at the same time... anyone else been there??).
how might it feel to do just one thing. Or, eeh, nothing at all. To sit, to breathe, to standing in a queue and not look at our phone. To stare at the sea for 15 or so minutes...
To kick off this idea of a single line of focus(and to decompress for the madness). I did two restorative Yoga poses, followed by a 30 minute Yoga Nidra.. The magic of Nidra is immediate, my body was tired, my mind frantic, but when you rest in an active sense a quiet truth comes through, a calm wisdom and sense of knowing.
I journaled, for a longer time, the first few pages were helpful, but if you keep going again, some inner guidance is given the chance to shine through.
I then set my intentions for the week ahead, and also made a more solid routine and schedule. Eating at the same time, trying to up my nutrients(when you move their tends to be a distinct lack of veggies being consumed). Make time for planning and knowing when to take breaks. to BREATHE. I've been holding my breath for two weeks!
I also think kindness is a helpful world. I am a recovering perfectionist(or trying to be), it's not a helpful characteristic, I feel the need to get everything done, and it has to be done right and when I mess up I feel guilty, shameful, lacking... I'm better now, but those old habits and neural pathways love to come back with strength and vigor when I am stressed.
So, how can I be kind to myself and in turn, kinder to others. Taking care, whether that means a run, watching Netflix, meeting a friend, art, dance, for me right then it was the Nidra, I was rested, calmer, had more love in my heart and understanding.
Perhaps, bring in those rituals that fill you up, not having to be 'good' or 'strong' or perfecting(!) your wellness routine, but just find something that acts like a reset(even lying down for 10 minutes) what does your body want you to do?
This has been a long ramble, well done if you've made it to this part! But I want to start sharing my experiences with you, it might help, might make you feel less alone, and also might give you an insight into the fact yoga teachers are always learning and growing too. We are all forever students.
Have a beautiful day. Take care of you.
See you on the mat.