After a super-productive April and May I decided to address what has been on my agenda for a while – slowing down. I figured that June would be a good month to try. I was inspired by zenhabit.com, the blog that keeps me grounded. Everything I read there connects to my nature, beliefs and life style. And, because I believe a good idea must be implemented daily I committed to giving it a chance. But is it possible to slow down and still be productive? I guess I would soon find out.
As part of my ‘go slow’ regimen I went to the Shivananda Yoga Ranch to experience slowing down in the middle of the working week. I definitely faced some challenges – I had to physically prevent myself from planing ahead during my stay there. It was a lot to deal with and I will admit that by middle of Tuesday, I was happy to check my emails. But no judgement – only love!
First I picked three areas that I could work on immediately:
- I changed my attitude towards the Subway, I stopped running after the trains, there is always another one! And I take local trains because after all you only save 5-10 minutes but you usually to get a seat.
- I stay for as long as I can in Savasana (the relaxation pose in yoga) and am quite often the last person to leave the room.
- I assigned Karma Yoga to my own house. While I was helping at the Shivananda Center, mainly cleaning the public spaces, I had internal conversation: “If I get so much joy from cleaning the center, why I do not have the same joy from cleaning my own house”. Clearly the problem was that I was stretched for time and saw house work as a time-suck. But by slowing down I was able to serve my own home.
And here is what I learnt:
- There is always another day to finish what you had planned today.
- It is a beautiful thing to wake up at 5 AM and go to bed at 10 PM. It brings structure and helps you slow your morning down – and with that the rest of your day.
- Talking about slowing down actually makes you to slow down. Every time people asked me how I was doing I would “Slow and steady”. Just saying that made me aware ( and awareness is a half the battle won as you know) of what I wanted to be and where I am at.
Slowing down can be powerful for all of us, it gives us a space to reflect and create a platform for new ideas, projects, feelings, and people.
If, like me, you too have a need to slow down in the midst of your productively busy life, think of 3 things what you will do differently starting today.
I will continue being slow and steady while I get ready for celebrations in July.