Slowing Down

I have so much to do today that I am going to meditate for two hours instead of one -Mahatma Gandhi

Yesterday I finally kept a promise to myself; way back in the winter I decided that one day, when the weather was warm, I would sit under a tree by the lake and meditate for as long as my heart desired.

I haven’t felt so free in a very long time. The strong winds, pounding waves, the movement of the grass and leaves, I felt like they were allowing me to finally release some of my old wounds. After those two hours, I felt lighter than I have in a long time.

It was a revelation in many ways, but one thing that struck me the most yesterday was how much time I seemed to have for the rest of the day. Normally, my days go whizzing by in a whirlwind of activity and thought. Yesterday I was constantly amazed by how early in the day it was. I’m sure that part of that is that I set no tasks for myself beyond the meditation and eating.

There’s more to it than that though. I had my phone and computer off all day (well, until I caved at 6:00 pm), and I focused on one thing at a time.

It inspired me to try a mini-experiment: for the next week, I have turned off the email alerts on my phone. In fact, the only alerts I’ve allowed are phone calls and texts.

So far, I love it! I’m so used to being immediately reachable via email that I thought it would feel like I’d lost a part of myself. Instead, I feel more able to really focus on the task at hand.

I have been just as productive today as I would be on one of my whirlwind days (I ran, I went to yoga class, I cooked for myself, I ran errands, I did laundry, and now I’m writing this post!), but I feel much calmer than I normally do.

I think a two hour meditation day is going to become a weekly event! How about you? Have you tried anything similar? How did it work for you?

Ch-ch-ch-changes

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. –Carl Rogers

I’ve been thinking a lot about some of my old posts over the past couple of months. There a a few ideas that I’d like to revisit when I have the time and mental space. This seems like a good place to start.

As I’m softening, breathing, smiling, all the things I like to do, and then came that blessing. It felt like a little contraction in my heart just to hear it.

I still remember that moment very clearly. It could have happened this morning instead of 9 months ago. It was one of those moments that stopped me in my tracks and pointed me in a new direction. It also introduced me to Val, who is amazing.

The idea of accepting myself in each moment, of not trying to force myself to change with willpower alone, has been one the most powerful tools I’ve gained so far on this journey.

The first time I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “I accept you and love you” and actually believed it; that was when things really started to shift for me.

I used to be a very negative person, I was always beating myself up for my mistakes and demanding perfection. Accepting my own fallibility with the same love that I extend to my friends and clients really changed my outlook on life.

I grew and became the positive, cheerful person I am today. From pessimist to optimist, just like that.

It took a lot of struggle and heartache for me to get on this path, and I wouldn’t trade any of it away.

 

A Reminder

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. –Mary Anne Radmacher

I’ve got post-Michigan creative block again. It happens almost every time I have a break in my routine, yet it still surprises me. I wrote this post to share that quote and new photo with you all, just in case someone else out there is struggling right now too. If you have to be wary of submerged rock, you are not alone.

I hope to be back to my normal blogging and social media frenzy soon.