Slowing down in a fast paced world

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I recently jumped the ship and left my preschool teaching job. Although I miss my coworkers and those little chicken wings (the kids) it was the right move for me to take me in the direction of my purpose. That being said, life did not come to a screeching halt from taking that leap of faith. I moved to a new home with my partner, I had one week to find a part-time/full-time job, I gained 3 contracts teaching yoga to school children and I was planning out a Goddess Ceremony for a client all while in school.

I hadn’t worked full-time in at least 2 years, so that was something to get used to all in itself. My body ached for being on my feet for 8 hours a day after being used to the lots of rest. I also started commuting together with my partner so we had to come up with a new schedule and routine all together for our completely different work hours.

At first, I was loving the fast pace of my life, I was busy all the time, I felt productive and proud of myself for everything I was accomplishing and I loved being a part of a new company whose mission was to protect and restore the environment. I felt inspired and creative immediately by all the changes around me. Of course, this did not last and I soon saw the enormous rock ahead also known as burn-out. Everything went downhill as I quickly became overwhelmed, stressed out, and anxious. I felt like a chicken running around with its head cut off heading toward a cliff.

I noticed I had been avoiding and resisting the call of yoga for a long time. It was something that had helped ground and relax me in times of emotional turmoil, physical pain and anxiety attacks. So naturally, I went back to the mat. Yoga has so many amazing qualities to it that can help everyone and their various needs. There are so many styles of yoga, free online videos, and amazing classes filled with great community and acceptance that a person can choose from. I chose the amazing healing yin and restorative yoga to bring me back down to earth and out of my head.

Personally, I have found that doing something physical and close to the ground is one of the best ways for me to come back to my body, and live in the present moment through the breath. As a “pitta” dosha type, I am naturally hot blooded, busy, fast paced, and always trying to fill up all my time productively. Because of those tendencies, I can become out of balance leading to digestive issues, anger, and burn-out. My pitta was definitely over heating so the relaxing and cooling effects if restorative and yin yoga were exactly what my body needed.

After being brought back down to earth I made it a priority to find some type of schedule that worked for me. I was doing my morning routine only on the days that I was off (twice a week) so its preventative capabilities were not kicking in. On the days that I commuted together with my partner I had to make a promise to myself that I made sure that I went straight to my morning routine once I got home. The specific time was not an issue for me, but I had to prioritize the routine at the top of my list to ensure that it was getting done.

My routine is always done in a slow and mindful pace so it immediately helped me to simmer down and reminded me to breathe. I begin with oil pulling as I indulge in the ritual of making my coffee. The smell of the whole beans as I grind them up, the soothing sound of the hot water boiling and then the sight of the foaming coffee as I pour the water into the French press or Chemex fill me up with gratitude and joy. Once I’ve made the coffee I let it marinate in my special spice blend as I move into the yoga room.

In the yoga room, I light some incense and chant my morning Gongyo, meditate, and write in my 5 Minute Journal. I also have two books that I read from, “Simple Abundance” and “Find Your Happy: Daily Mantras.” Meditation is a great way to bring me out of my head and back into a joyful reality. Sometimes I am able to sit in stillness and other times I am not, but I also show up to find out. Writing and reading are two of my favorite activities to do, so not only does it fill me with joy, but the specific journal and books that I use are filled with love, reflection, and positivity that always put me in a great mood.

The last soothing activity is to for me to take a shower and wash away any negative energy from the day before. It helps me feel like I have a fresh start to my day. Once I am out I do abhyanga or oil massage on my body, another way to find appreciation for what I have.

These two activities have helped me tremendously when it comes to preventing burnout and overwhelm and I highly recommend them to everyone regardless if you are living a busy lifestyle or not. I also recommend morning pages, in which you keep a journal by your side and immediately write your dreams, take a brain dump and then end with a gratitude list the minute you wake up. It is supposed to help release your mind of holding onto everything going on in there at all times. It also allows you to live in appreciation for what you have. These two are said to combine for the ultimate effect of unleashing your true creative potential.

Nature is another amazing way to help you to slow down. I am lucky to live in an area surrounded by beauty- but have yet had a chance to explore it. Even just talking your pet on a walk in the morning and evening or sitting on your balcony and seeing the autumnal change in the trees or watching the Fall rain come down as you sip your coffee can transform your day. Not to mention, it is free.

The last tip to help you slow down is to embrace the change in the seasons. As we quickly transition into Autumn, it is the perfect time to redecorate and rearrange your home, and add in the relaxing effects of cozying up your home for you and your loved ones. This act of relaxing, warmth and community is called “hygge” and is all about slowing down. Add some warm colored twinkly lights to your balcony or bedroom, light some candles or incense, bring in wood for your first fire of the season and cozy up with your favorite blankets as you drink a hot beverage with your lover or best friend.

I don’t anticipate the world around us slowing down any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that we have to allow it all to swallow us up and wring us dry. You are responsible for your well being and for your life- make it a priority to care for yourself every day and I am sure that you will be able to thrive in your environment and show up as your greatest self.

Thank you for reading today and I will be back soon. Please leave questions or tips about slowing down in the comments box below.

 

Love always,

Mabes

shadow work: healing my inner child

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I was sitting in the corner balled up, just watching. I can’t remember if I was frozen in my tracks or if I was an emotional wreck. I must’ve been about 5 years old and I just felt like my whole world was falling apart. I don’t know the specific reason for them fighting this time around, all I could focus on was that my dad was leaving and I was petrified.

“Everything is going to be ok. You are safe. I will never abandon you. I love you.” Fast forward to 23 years later- and it wasn’t until now that I realized the reason my immense fear of being alone had taunted me, like a ghost, for so long. I was in the middle of meditating when once again I was feeling uneasy, like something was wrong in my life. No matter how many times I tried to focus in on the feeling and asked my inner guidance for the answers I never was able to figure it out. I knew it wasn’t that I was with the wrong person, or that something else was going on in my career. I was sure of my path and the person I was becoming and whom I chose to have in my life, but no matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t shake the fear I felt in my chest or the way it seemed to grow, turning into an ache in my back. It made me question and even doubt many of my decisions.

On this particular day I just asked for the universe to send me the answers I needed, trusting and having faith that it would come. I allowed myself to observe my uneasy emotions without trying to make it go away, I honored them. The following day I awoke from a much-needed nap and the first thought I had, seeping through the grogginess of waking up and not knowing what happened, was that I needed to heal my inner child and something about me in the experience I described above. So, without much thought I searched on Youtube “healing inner child so I can heal my relationship.” The video that I was drawn to was one about healing the inner child’s fear of abandonment. Something clicked.

I watched the video and did as instructed. It took me to this specific memory of me as a child where I truly believed that I was unloved and was going to be abandoned. Then it had me come back as an adult and notice all the ways that I was abandoning myself now, and how I was putting the expectations and responsibility of loving myself and always being there for me in the hands of other people. The meditation proved to be powerful for me as well as extremely difficult, and it initially left me in my feelings and with a heaviness in my chest. It was like when I first took a Yin Yoga class and I went so deep in a pose that I felt a popping sensation in my chest and an immense need to burst into tears-which I somehow refrained from doing.

On my commute to work today I listened to more videos about healing and how our inner child’s wounds effect our current relationships. As I was in the classroom, I was putting a child to sleep and I imagined she was a younger me, and I just repeated in my head that I would never abandon her as I helped her fall asleep. I knew I had the epiphany I needed to help me heal the root of the problem and I am determined to do the work. I left that child overcome with compassion and sense of inner peace I had only felt in the past when I would heal something traumatic.

I know the work has just begun, but I am extremely grateful to have discovered this wound and I am ready to heal it. I’ve spent a lot of time always fearing being left, looking for holes in my relationship and trying to prove why someone didn’t love me. I didn’t know it then, but I was using these defense mechanisms to try to avoid the pain of being abandoned- if I left first or if I was prepared for a break up then perhaps it wouldn’t hurt as bad. Of course, this only proved to bring me more experiences and people who ended up leaving me, and it made sense. How could I expect someone to be committed if I wasn’t even devoted to loving myself?

I know that this shadow work is going to lead me to freedom, and the ability to finally treating myself and being treated by others from a place of unconditional love. I know that its ok to be happy, that I am safe with myself, and that I don’t need to spend my time trying to prove my relationships of being too good to be true. Life will always have its ups and downs but never again will I abandon myself.

 

Love always,

Mabes