How many of us have felt pushed to achieve? To be productive? To constantly create something of value? And, what does "value" even mean? How many of us have trouble with slowing down? With allowing ourselves to just be? How often do we get swept up in climbing a ladder? Or keeping our homes picture perfect? Or getting paid more money? Or ensuring that our children are in the best after school programs - sports, music, art, therapy?
I'm raising my hand. If I had to guess, I would bet that at some point, you've been there, too (and maybe are right now). My question is: Why? My next question is: How does this pace of life make you feel? I invite you to really sit with this question, because some times we move so fast we miss it.
THIS is the root of many conditions that are running rampant through society right now: Anxiety. Overwhelm. Dis-ease. Maybe even depression and despair. I mean, how could anyone keep up with this pace? Note: This is not true in EVERY situation, but in many.
Two moments in stand out in my own life that really begged me for honesty and demanded I learn how to slow down. One, I've already shared with you as the time my health was suffering due to a breakneck pace of intense exercise, working hard and traveling a ton in former careers. Another, was when my family decided to move from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island, leaving behind a yoga studio I founded, dear friends that became family, a beautiful home, and the most charming little town.
I can remember when Eugene, the Yoga Dear hubby, told me he wanted to take a new job and move our family seven hours away from what had become home. I sobbed. I rolled out my mat. I journaled. I meditated. I got still. I listened. I'll never forget lying in savasana, tears rolling down my cheeks, feeling a warmth and a small voice offering that this move was the right next step. It was time to grow and expand in new directions. I have pinpricks of tears forming as I write this to you now.
Did that inner knowing make it any easier? It did not. In fact, in came uncertainty. This would become crippling at some moments even six months post-move.
I mistakenly thought that growth and evolvement meant more creation, more doing, more productivity. I mistakenly thought I could siphon away pockets of time between taking care of my toddler and running a yoga studio from afar to create new programs, write even more, develop new revenue streams. That was all wrong.
What my heart needed more than ever before was SPACE. It took me nearly six months to arrive at that place. While I had intentionally left a fabulous job to follow a calling and open a yoga studio/business four years ago, disrupting the typical get a job, move up, make more money paradigm, I had still fallen into patterns. Patterns of doing, rather than stepping back to recognize what it is that my heart really longed for. Who do I want to serve? And, how? And, where? And, why? Can one of those answers be...me? Can I redirect yet again? How would that make me feel?
"Closed for Reclamation."
A yoga teacher shared these words. She said, that all over Colorado, beautiful hiking trails have these signs fixed at the front gates. A kinder way of saying: KEEP OUT. This sign is a reminder that these trails have been trodden on by so many, and that they need to grow wild again. They need space to grow lush and to expand into their wholeness. How beautifully yogic, yes?
Growth and evolvement doesn't have to mean "doing." In fact, it allows for more "being." Growth and change also beg for surrender. A letting go of the former ways to make space for the new. Surrender asks for stillness, for quiet, for inner inquiry.
In this way, not doing and not producing does not = unworthy. [read that again]
In fact, this allows YOU to grow wild again, to remember your inner child, to pull it forward, to surrender to your deepest dreams and desires. It's the ultimate path of healing. It's where I finally arrived after months and months of tears, sadness, overwhelm. What would happen if I let go? What would happen if I let myself grow wild again? What would happen if I closed for a bit of reclamation?
I want this for you. I want you to recognize that even in the goodness of your doing - the lives you get to change, the bellies you fill with delicious meals, the incredible work you are putting out into the world - patterns and habits can begin to set in that are not always helpful. In these patterns, we find ourselves on autopilot, in constant mental loops, moving through our days without our born right of enjoyment and enthusiasm.
And, then our bodies often start to tell us something's up. It could show up as a constant racing heart. Debilitating sadness. Impaired digestion. Insomnia. Panic attacks. Infertility. Rashes. I'm not saying your sadness isn't real, or that your pain isn't real, because it absolutely is. It's not in your head. And, you're not broken because of it.
So, let's start with asking the right questions. Are you doing so much that you don't allow for being? Do you feel that the answer to your overwhelm is more productivity? Or better delegation? Is that rubbing off on those around you (i.e. your kids, your partner)? What are your patterns? How does it make you feel? Is any of this serving you? What does your body think?
And...is it time to create space? To take one or two or three moments in your day to "Close for Reclamation?" What would that be like?
This is BY FAR one of the most powerful messages that has ever come through me to you.What is coming up for you as you're reading? What's one word to sum up the way you feel? Can you send it to me?