Today, I have been thinking about slowing down. I am aware that when I am rushing I abandon myself. Rushing means not honoring my natural pace and pushing myself into the future. Today I noticed what a habit rushing is and how I rush even when I have the time to slow down. It’s as if my worry thoughts of what could happen on my way to yoga class to make me late, distract me from being present for the drive. I grip the steering wheel in determination to overcome these imagined obstacles that I have made up. What scares me about being present? When I am grounded in my body rather than up in my head worrying, do I even know who I am?
An experiment has evolved where I am returning to myself when I notice my thoughts have run away. This is the experiment of an ongoing meditation practice brought into daily life. It is important when I notice I am rushing to be sweet to myself about noticing. “You’re rushing again! said to myself in an exasperated and inpatient tone can create a spiral of self-criticism. It is also possible to use my awareness of my self-disgusted tone, to bring myself sweetness. “Oh, I get it that you are impatient. It’s OK.” I can use the awareness of rushing to kindly slow myself down. I can notice my breathing and breathe deeper and slower and breathe into my belly. I can also acknowledge myself with great fervor when I notice I am moving through my life or a moment, showing up for myself in the present moment. “Good Job, Andrea!” Ah, so satisfying to give ourselves credit for doing what we say we wanted to do. Also so easy to ignore. Let’s support each other in validating ourselves and each other when we notice a glimmer of accomplishment in the area of going slower and smelling the flowers. Goodness knows it’s easy to dis ourselves mercilessly.
Maybe make a list of all the little ways you have shown up for yourself and been present. Like today I was walking in the park and I took the time to notice the beautiful flowers and the artistry in which they were arranged. I felt grateful for whoever created the landscaping. Why not also feel grateful to the one who was noticing the flowers. “Good job, Andrea!”
Another thing about rushing is there are the times I am rushing because I have to do one more thing before I leave to get somewhere. I have to fold my laundry or empty the dishwasher or answer that text or e-mail right now. Doing so leaves me with not enough time to get where I am going on time let alone in a relaxed manner. One of the people I work with has created this brilliant campaign called,” One less thing”. When she is preparing to go somewhere she deliberately does one less thing before she leaves. As she practices doing one less thing she has noticed that her job which involves a lot of driving from place to place to see clients, has become much more enjoyable. How about in addition to doing one less thing we notice and acknowledge ourselves for doing one less thing by saying good job to ourselves? What if we could even notice ourselves rushing away from ourselves and show up for that? What if the conscious act of showing up for ourselves in the way we would easily show up for a friend, could be seen as miraculous? What if kindly noticing I have abandoned myself to rushing is cause for celebration as I welcome myself back to this moment? This precious moment.