As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a “doer”. Always setting goals, working toward goals, adjusting goals, reaching goals and then off to set new goals. It’s as if nothing would quench my thirst for that
rush I would get when working toward a goal and then taking a quick timeout before I’d be off and running to accomplish the next new thing. As I look back, many times not only was I running on fumes, but I wasn’t taking the time to soak in what I was doing and understanding my relationship to it. I wasn’t connecting with my deeper self to check-in with how I felt and determine if my actions were in alignment with who I was really was. And half the time I didn’t give myself the opportunity to savor the honey of my endeavors and enjoy the work and activities I was involved in.
There were many experiences of 12-14 hour work days and nights and weekends filled with back-to-back activities, but limited occasions where I took the time to look at what it was all for. There were many things crossed of the “to do” list, only to be replaced by new tasks. During some soul searching and with the help of a particularly amazing healer, I was able to see how this “over doing” was a way for me to distract myself from seeing the real me and allowing that version to shine her beauty and light.
Then the hard questions came. What was I avoiding with me? Why would anyone consistently put themselves through such a grueling experience, with a hectic schedule always filled with work, school, social activities, trips, and so on? Eventually I learned I was doing this to avoid stepping into my personal power and living as my authentic self. This is when my deeper spiritual journey started to take off. I was able to begin to connect with the truth that we are capable of creating what we want in this life experience. I could connect with knowing that keeping busy, existing in my safe job, and not rocking the boat too much was far from living and there was much beauty in slowing down and being present.
When you’re overloaded, overcommitted and overstimulated, you’re generally overwhelmed. This state of being may have its pockets of excitement and fun, but aside from the energetic price you pay, you’re also no longer “present”. When you’re not present, you miss out on all the possibilities that exist in the now. When you’re not present, you’re not able to enjoy the moment often due to focusing on the next goal or thing you can create externally. Some common ways people do this is by sacrificing their personal life and overall happiness in exchange for tirelessly working toward a promotion in order to buy a house or other material item or counting down the hours until Friday arrives each week so you can then be free to experience some happiness. You miss out on so much when you’re not present. And during these experiences, you’re unable to quiet the mind, slow down the body and reach into your heart and ask the deeper and meaningful questions, such as: Am I happy or masking pain? Do I live a life of authenticity or am I faking? Am I doing my life work or coming up with excuses not to? Why am I staying in this relationship, job, or city when it no longer serves me?
Slowing down isn’t about an actual lack of physical movement. It’s about taking the time to turn inward and treat yourself like your own amazing best friend and ask what you truly want. This is where we tap into our “feminine energy”, which includes being receptive, taking non-action, and exploring internally. Then, rather than pull the trigger and take action with “masculine energy”, we create the space to allow things to unfold and present themselves as we are present to ourselves and connected with our heart. Too often we go into action mode and make decisions or switch things up without taking the time to do our soul searching. It’s like we’re saying, let me throw this against the wall and see if it sticks. And then guess what? In our effort to be productive, happier and make things happen, we end up having to re-do things, re-visit our plans or re-create our reality because we didn’t take the time to discover our true self and soul’s desire before taking action. We essentially misfire and then need to retreat until we figure out our next plan of action or how to fix the new thing we created.
I encourage you to take time to slow down in your actions and shift the scales a bit more in favor of exploring what you truly desire and building a stronger relationship with self. As a very wise healer I know once told me, “Know thyself” is one of the keys to living this life. At the time, I knew what the words meant, but didn’t have the deep connection to this that I now do.
Slowing down pays off and allows you to reconnect, recharge and take actions that are in alignment with your true self. You’ll know that your intention and actions are on the right path when things fall into place with virtuously no effort. The universe opens up unlimited possibilities when you’re connecting with your soul and exist in this energetic alignment. People show up to help you unexpectedly, resources appear out of nowhere, solutions to seemingly impossible obstacles fall into your lap. You get the idea. When I decided to relocate from Boston to San Diego, there were so many things that needed to be done. Somehow, everything that my friends and I needed, fell into place. We had a place to live, our personal belongings fit perfectly into our moving truck, we found jobs within the first few months of moving, and other resources unexpectedly arrived. These were signs from the universe that our actions were in line with our soul’s desire.
When you find yourself “on the go to the point of no return”, start off by patting yourself on the back for having this level of awareness. Then, schedule time in your busy day to sit with yourself and ask some deeper questions. Sometimes you may take many detours on your pathway and that is ok. And the good news is, if you choose something that doesn’t work out, you can always choose again. If you continue to be present, connect with your true self, and take actions that align with this, you will be well on your way to freedom, happiness and a stronger soul connection.
Here are some suggestions on ways to promote more slowing down in your life.