How to Find Your Pace of Life
I ask people in the UK "How are you?" and receive the response “Busy”. It is as though this has replaced the new “I’m well and happy thank you”. It prompted me to review my next retreat in Tulum, Mexico that explores your Aligned Rhythm. If you go at a pace that is aligned for you, then you never feel busy even when life is flowing with a great deal of momentum. If you feel 'busy' then there is a misalignment. How do you know if your rhythm is aligned to you when living in this fast-paced city?
Recognise Your Going Too Fast
My nickname at US Law School was ‘Speedy Spjut’. It was my first brain skill to recover after my head injury. I never wanted to slow down as, like an addict, this speed was thrilling. My head injury was the result of many warning signs to slow down.
As I rebuilt my life I often went too fast and would become unwell again. The recovery was slow because I resisted accepting the lesson: slow down. Others told me to rest more, do less, go slower. Then one day I asked myself, “I am so driven to get somewhere. Where am I driving to?” The answer came “My death.”
Ironically, I have a massive fear of speed in vehicles. Perhaps you feel the pace of life is too overwhelming and you are constantly trying to keep up.
To stop going fast is a discipline in choice, and the yoga practice moderation (brahmacharya). Like quality over quantity, you seek the less is more approach to life. The key was to understand what this speed was feeding:
· It fed my ego to ‘do lots’ so I could not hear my inner voice.
· It fed my lack of self-worth to ‘be productive’.
· It pumped my hidden depression to ‘keep busy’.
The Answer? Choose wisely what to do with your day that will get you the next small step towards your intention with a smile, gratitude and beauty in your day.
I wrote about limiting your productivity to 3-5 things to ‘do’ in your day before in this blog post.
Change Your Perception of Time
My family all like to be early, really early. I had grown up to understand that being ‘on time’ really meant at least 5 minutes early. It is rude, disrespectful and not socially considerate to make people wait. It made me an expert at time management, efficiency and a really good lawyer for output.
I recall the moment when it shifted so clearly: I was stood in the studio at Embody Wellness one Thursday evening teaching my weekly classes when time suspended itself. There was no rush and plenty of time to play in class. Time had become elastic. After this I stopped having a concept of duration, I began being a couple of minutes late.
To be late and not really worry about it was a huge shift for me. It was not that I had lost respect for others, but that I no longer felt restricted to live at someone else’s speed. I was moving at my pace.
What made this shift? My daily yoga nidra practice. It connected me at a deeper level to my inner space and this converted to my perception of time. I had more space inside of me and therefore, more time in my experience.
Do yoga nidra daily to bring balance to your whole being for at least 6 months continuously. Try out our monthly releases.
Nature for Your Rhythm
The natural rhythms in nature support the body that evolved amongst them. My 18 months in the jungle has really brought me to understand my own cycles of mood, energy and needs. My Chinese Doctor commented on my return to the UK “The crazy has gone from your eyes.” He was right. Nature brings me back to inwards and connects me to my heart – a much slower heart beat than the speed of my mind.
It made me realise – my actual rhythm is that of my heartbeat. Not that of my speedy mind or breathing even. My mind and breath can still lead me down the path to overstimulation, overthinking and addictive behaviours. If I follow my heartbeat then I am calm, peaceful and full of love. The crazy leaves.
TIP: Get into nature daily if possible. If you cannot get away, then do daily visualisations into a place you love filled with nature. When you are in nature or visualise it, take the time to really study its endless changes and their rhythms. Notice the continual loop of life flowing as you observe.
Integration with the World
When you have found your aligned rhythm things speed up. The speed is different. You feel carried and that support appears to help you. I see the concern from my family about my life changes and know it is different from the times before when I turned my life upside down – this time I am connected to my pace. If I feel that things are too fast, I stop, I reconnect and check in. If it’s no longer aligned I am not afraid to let it go.
Back in the UK I reintegrate my pace to the world around me. I notice myself with days full back-to-back of appointments and meetings. Speedy Spjut is slipping in the back door? Your ego is an important part of creating your reality, she needs to do her part. I notice the difference of this speed from the natural momentum that I have built. Now is the time for real discipline in moderation.
Can I act from the space behind my heart as I take these things on? Can I feel the space between me and the activities in my diary? Do I feel my heartbeat or am I only hearing the techno beat of east London?
I am grateful that I can slow down by choice and reassess if I am uncertain of my path. I know the questions to ask, to reset and make a new choice. I know that I am on my aligned path when I listen to my heartbeat.
TIP: Allow 20 minutes in the morning and evening just for you. No TV, no activities, just to write, knit, doodle or allow yourself to express subconsciously.