So, there is a very famous yogi who wrote a book entitled Journey Into Power. I have yet to read the whole book – I’ve only covered parts of it. The premise of the book is a great one – who wouldn’t want to become a more powerful person by having better focus, clarity of mind, composure, and intent? Yes, we all want more of all those things in our lives, but this is hard to do when you are smack dab in the middle of everyday life.
Yes, we all want more of all those things in our lives, but this is hard to do when you are smack dab in the middle of everyday life.
Yes, I want to live more authentic and joyful but how do I do that – every day? How do I live joyfully when my kids are whining, dinner is burning, the cat just knocked over a huge glass of milk, and someone is ringing the doorbell? Ahhhh!!!!
For some this new and improved way of living may seem like a piece of cake, but not for me. Not for a type “A” who has to have everything lined up like a row of little toy soldiers. Every cabinet door has to be shut, every mess needs to be cleaned, every counter needs to be spotless, and all the papers must be stacked neatly and arranged in perfect piles. Fitting in one more thing – even if it is living more intently or improving my focus is, actually quite daunting not to mention humorous. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one.
When do I make the time, is it another thing that gets squeezed into the already chaotic schedule, is it yet another freakin’ checkbox to check off every night? If you read my other blog post – you’ll know I can’t handle another checkbox – lol!
So, on this journey into my power, I figured I’d start with my yoga practice since the book talks so much about it and how it can lead to all those amazing lives changing things, and well because the author is pretty much a yogi master. He’s gotta be doing something right – right?
I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for many many years – all different types. Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram and so on. However, Vinyasa was the one that got me hooked, and I’ve been practicing it regularly ever since. I loved it so much I got my 200-hour RYT certification about four years ago – along with my husband. It was an amazing experience taking the teaching courses together as husband and wife – almost like a big ‘ole therapy session (that’s for another post).
When I started my regular practice, I have to look back and laugh because I’m sure I seemed like an elephant trying to ride a uni-bike. My limbs were wobbling all over the place, hands and feet flopping and flying about – a real graceful show. However, the more I practiced, the more I improved. The more I developed the slower I got. I couldn’t get enough in the beginning. I was practicing about 5-7 days a week. I was so stressed, and so many life changes were happening – yoga was like my drug. Yoga was the only thing that calmed my anxiety, stress, and fears.
However, as good as yoga was for me – it became one of those dang dreaded checkboxes. Other chores and tasks got bumped if yoga needed to fit in somewhere. I entered into yoga rushed and ready to relax, but I’d leave rushed because I had to get to my next destination or start work on that next box that needed to be checked. Something else was wrong – I still felt powerless over all the things. Yoga every hour wouldn’t have helped.
Fast forward to about a year ago, I started practicing more like three days a week instead of 5-7 days. I thought, maybe if I practiced less and let go a little (by the way for me letting go is a huge too) I would find time to be more intentional. I did so, and I discovered it’s not about doing yoga every day it’s about slowing down. We all need to do it.
Yes, my power, I determined comes from me slowing down. Take a breath. Slow focused and intentional actions. Not just check a box and move onto the next kind of behavior. When I feel anxiety creep because something needs to be folded, cleaned or organized – I stop. I take a breath, and I say to myself “slow down.” This phrase is funny because I’m an avid runner and when you’re running it’s the complete opposite of slowing down (this too is another post waiting to happen).
Although some would cringe at the phrase, I have to say slowing down is glorious. And even more glorious is accepting it and giving yourself permission to do it. Just slow the f!@* down. When you slow down, you power up. You are purposeful, exact, intuitive, inspirational – to yourself and others. When you slow down and listen, listen to your mind and your soul, you are more you at that moment than ever. The power is back in your hands, and you decide where you go, what you do, and how you do it. No one else has any say at that moment, but you.
The next time you’re flying high with anxiety, stress levels are creeping, all the boxed are yet to be checked, you need to return calls, and you can’t remember what you had for breakfast or even if you ate breakfast at all – slow down. Take a breath. It’s not going anywhere, and there’s always tomorrow. Slow down. Just S L O W D O W N.
So, when are you gonna slow down?