The first month of 2016 is here. Some us feel ready to take on the new year by its horns while others are wishing for more time to transition and relax at home. To tell you the truth – I am feeling a bit of both. No matter how you are feeling about starting the year, remember that each day is a chance to try something new, let go of something old and feel different. It’s not up to the calendar, it’s up to you.
Sometimes we have so many things we want to accomplish or “need” to accomplish that we start off the year feeling anxious. I often hear my clients say, “Life is moving so fast and I have to keep up.” They share how much they squeeze into one day – From taking care of kids, working full time, fixing meals side projects, exercise, cleaning up, etc. This list can go on and on – it’s exhausting. Can you relate?
In this generation I think we have proven that anything is possible– we can have it all and do it all. Multi-tasking is second nature – answering an email, cooking and texting all while helping your kids with homework is completely normal. Rushing from place to place and hurrying around like a chicken without a head is also totally acceptable. In fact, it is admired. For instance, people will say “wow, look how hard she’s working.” As if it’s a good thing to forget to eat lunch, get 5 hours of sleep, exercise for 2 hours, and gulp coffee throughout the day.
Here’s the thing, I know that you can do it all because you are a powerful, wise and beautiful creature. The question is, is that what you really want? Does it feel good to live life that way? If it does than by all means go for it but if you are like me and living this way feels like you’re suffocating than keep reading.
The greatest lesson I learned in 2015 was to SLOW DOWN. Constantly “rushing to get there” was a pattern that I started at young age. I remember being a kid; I couldn’t wait to be an adult. When I was single, I couldn’t wait to get married. Zooming in on my day to day activities, the same was true. Throughout the day I was rushing from getting ready in the morning to arriving to meetings on time and fixing dinner. Everything was on the fast forward button. I was always in a rush to get somewhere else when the truth is there is nowhere else I needed to be.
So I began to slow down. It felt counter intuitive at first but I actually tried to accomplish less per week. I made sure that my meal time was a fabulous event I had to attend rather than a chore. I tried new breathing and meditation techniques that became the highlight of my day. And I realized that for me, this is what life is about. I began to feel present, aware and peaceful. I was able to meet my goals and even accomplish more by slowing down.
My wish for you this year is to slow down. Believe it or not, by slowing down you are giving yourself the gift of compassion and trust. The first step to any great change is awareness and here are a few simple steps you can try.
• Begin to notice when and why you are rushing.
How does it feel?
• Let yourself off the hook.
Maybe there are certain things you don’t need to get done today?
• Forget about the time.
Allow yourself to get lost in an activity.
• Eat your meals sitting down without any social media.
Pay attention to the way the food tastes and how you’re chewing.
Notice your breath throughout the day and spend time breathing.
• Trust that what doesn’t get completed today will at the right time.
Just because you are not doing something right now doesn’t mean it will never get done.
A big part of slowing down is accepting yourself the way you are. Realizing you have nothing to prove to anybody and that if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will. Finding some alone time to be with yourself and get quiet is powerful. It will change your perspective on life and your purpose. Like any change – it may be uncomfortable at first but remember these two words throughout the day “slow down” and you’ll be reminded of how you can live differently.