A couple of weeks ago I sent out an email called The Fundamental Practice – which speaks to the art of slowing down. I’m curious if that newsletter resonated with you? Have you been able to be a little more purposeful in these past several days about pausing and just being in the moment?
Maybe you find that difficult to do. Maybe it is your intention, but the next thing you know the whole day has flown by and each moment was jam packed. Happens to me all the time.
So I am going share a little secret that helps me. And you need just 3 things:
- a moment of your time
- a pen
- several sticky notes
This is what you do, write the word BREATHE on a bunch of your sticky notes. Then I want you to put one on your computer, one on your bathroom mirror, one on your coffee machine, one in your car. Put one wherever you are regularly in your day.
And when you see this note, start to train yourself to take one conscious breath. 2 breaths. 3 breaths.
That is all it takes, 3 conscious breaths to slow down the sympathetic nervous system. In less than 20 seconds you can drop into a sense of calmness and presence.
Try it and notice if your capacity to slow down, even just 5% more in your day starts to happen. Take some pictures of your sticky notes and post them on my Facebook page. I guarantee the effect will be nothing short of magic.
Are you someone who is super busy, working, creating, being on and running from here to there? I’m guessing yes. In my world, time often feels like it is sped up and that there is so much to do all the time. Sound familiar?
But here is what I know. In order for you to truly connect with yourself and your essence, there has to be a willingness to slow down.
Slowing down is hard. We resist it. We often actually keep ourselves busy on purpose. Why?
In my experience, the reason we don’t like to slow down is that we actually start to feel things and recognize where we are out of balance. Where we are out of integrity. Where we are not in our centre,. Where we do things that don’t feel aligned. We start to feel the places where we experience shame. That we are disconnected from. That we judge.
It all comes up.
So that is why we keep busy – to escape feeling all of these things.
But as you and I both know, the reality is that if we don’t slow down, we can’t grow, we can’t evolve as a humans. We will never bloom into our full potential unless we are intentional about meet ourselves exactly where we are. And to do this, the basic fundamental practice is to slow down.
Right now, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale out. When you slow down your breathing, you relax the central nervous system and begin to change your brain wave state. You activate the parasympathetic nervous system which sends a message to your being that it is ok to rest. Ok to let go. Ok to open. Ok to receive.
Take a few more deep breaths – right into your belly. What are you experiencing? Can you sense a willingness to drop in and feel more connected to the world? To surrender into this moment into something much greater than you and your busy-ness? How does that feel? The present moment is the only moment we can truly be alive. It is your presence that is the greatest gift to humanity – not what you do but who you are.
I hope you can feel it – the magnificence of you simply being.
By embracing your mother wound as your yoga, you transform what has been a hindrance in your life into a teacher of the heart. ~Phillip Moffit
Motherhood is a gift. But, it is not always an easy gift to accept, making it often a very hard gift to grow with and heal with. When this is translated to our children, it means so many things. Both as mothers and as children, join me as I too try to embrace my mother wound.
The fundamental teaching of yoga is that we are all one. And the yoga practices we engage in are meant to help lift the veil of illusion, maya, so that we may truly see that everything is indeed connected and an individual expression of source. From the moment we are born we forget this fundamental truth and this is the cause of our suffering. That we feel separate. That we feel different. That we feel alone.
Our sense of separateness creates attachments and aversions. We cling to our egos and focus on differences in all that we see and experience. This becomes the root of conflict – between individuals, communities and even nations.
On this day of remembrance, I hold the Sanskrit prayer, Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanto, close to my heart. It says: May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And may the thoughts and actions of my life help contribute to the happiness and freedom for everyone.
I take the time to look at each person I meet and soften so I can really see them. To see beyond the outer differences and into that which makes us the same. Into our common humanity. To acknowledge that we are so much more the same than we could ever be different. To remove the veil and return to essence. To remember.
love & pranams,
“Silence is not silent. Silence speaks. It speaks most eloquently. Silence is not still. Silence leads. It leads most perfectly.” ~ Sri Chinmoy
This is the beginning to an inward journey. This leads you to listen more strongly to that inner vision that sings so powerfully.
This leads you to you.
“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” ~ Sharon Gannon
Asanas are known as the physical practice of yoga. Yoga itself is almost entirely a mental practice, the physical practice being a tool used to get deeper.
That being said, a physical practice of yoga is very powerful for the body and mind, as well!