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Slow Down Already!

Do you ever stop and ask yourself, “why am I in such a hurry? where am I running to so quickly?” And isn’t it interesting that when you finally get there or you finish the thing you were anxiously trying to finish, somehow something new shows up to get you running again?

This morning I woke up with a bit of an allergy headache but I forced myself to head off to yoga class anyway. The theme for the class was self-compassion. The instructor had us take a moment to notice how we were feeling. She suggested a practice of acceptance for whatever it was we were feeling.

It was so simple and yet wonderfully profound.

I gently turned my attention to my pounding head and allowed the pain to be there. I stopped struggling against it, or wishing it was gone, and instead I gave it permission to be. As I did this, space was opened up. It was like my head expanded to make room for the headache. The more I relaxed and allowed the headache to be there, the less intense it felt inside my head. I realized I was giving it power by resisting it thereby making it worse and more painful.

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About halfway through the class I decided to lay in corpse pose instead of pushing myself through any more postures. That, too, was simply amazing! In that moment I realized that I place so much pressure on myself to run and hurry around and get it all done and rarely do I allow myself to just do nothing. Lying there while everyone else was doing yoga postures, I realized that this was the perfect yoga posture for me in this moment; to lie there doing nothing at all.

Later, I reflected on how many times I have heard interviews with the elderly or those who are preparing for death reflecting back on what they might do differently were they to have the chance. The most common answer was some version of: “I would not take it all so seriously.”

I want to invite you to stop running for a moment, take a few minutes to notice where you might be in resistance with your body or notice a situation in your life causing you pain. Just for this moment, give it permission to just show up exactly as it is. Offer it a seat at the table in your mind and pour it a cup of tea.

Notice what happens.

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