When nature reminds you to slow down

When nature reminds you to slow down

Once again summer has flown by and you may find yourself settling into a new routine of back to school, or back to work full-time. Or perhaps you are continuing a more relaxed rhythm and extending your summer routine.

For me summer was rather busy, too busy, at my job where I spend 40+ hours a week working as a project manager. Coaching, yoga, and writing took a back seat for June and July and I was only partially able to focus on the three things that I love to do. My daily yoga practice was squashed into a rushed 10 or 15 minutes per day. I was stealing moments of meditation at night before I went to bed, or during a brief walk when I escaped the office to get a breath of fresh air. My writing was limited to weekends.

I reached a state of feeling burned out late July.

I was concerned if I didn’t set some boundaries at work and say ‘no’, if I didn’t start paying more attention to my passions, that some universal force might step in and force me to change my priorities. I kept saying to myself ‘only one more week of busyness and things will change.’ You can’t argue with the universe!

It hit me one morning after staying up through the night to get a website launched for a client. I had already worked a full day and was staying up to ensure the launch was successful, trying to squeeze in 30 minute naps when I could. At least I was working from home. I started to feel nauseous around 7 am and had a tingling sensation on the top, right side of my head. I suddenly felt very irritable with the sound of cars passing outside. Even the sound of my wind chimes was bothering me. I couldn’t look at my computer screen as my vision was blurry. The tingling sensation in my head was getting stronger and took over the entire right side of my head, sending shooting pain into my face. Even my teeth were tingling. I had no idea what was happening, but I knew I had to lie down in a dark room, deprived of any sensory stimulation.

It was my first migraine! It was horrible. I stayed in bed for the entire day sleeping it off – the pain eventually subsided 8 hours later. That evening and the next day I felt like all of my energy had been sucked out of me.

I was out of balance and my body forced me to slow down.

For those of you reading who have suffered migraines your whole life, I feel for you. I am very lucky to have experienced a migraine for the first time in 42 years. I say I am lucky for two reasons; One – I haven’t experienced this pain until recently, and Two – the experience forced me to slow down and reset.

So what does this have to do with fall and letting go you might be wondering?

The migraine for me was a wake-up call. As far as wake-up calls go, this was pretty tame and I’m thankful for that. I was putting undue pressure on myself at work. In the beginning of August I set some boundaries and said ‘no’ to overtime and said ‘no’ to working at breakneck speed during the week, trying to crank out as much as possible.

I had more free time to focus on my passions. I planted seeds of what I wanted to have more of in my life. More creativity, more spontaneity, more freedom, more joy. This was an intention I set at the beginning of my meditations. I wasn’t focused on how or when these seeds would sprout. I was enjoying the feelings that I could generate in my body and spirit when I imagined more freedom, creativity and joy in the here and now. I let go of the outcome.

With my changed mindset I was lining up with the universal energy to support me in my mission of inviting in more of what I love. A few days into this practice things started to change. I had new ideas flow easily towards me. People reached out and offered me opportunities to write and share my knowledge on topics related to my book Life Reboot. I applied to a writer’s residency program in Brazil and got accepted.

If your current routine is too busy, take some time to review where you are at. Don’t wait for your body to stop you in your tracks. For fall my practice will be to continue at a slower pace, to let go and to enjoy whatever gifts the universe has in store for me.