In the fast-paced society we live in, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind. If you have children, the activity list seems to be endless. If you have a career outside of the home, long hours can consume a good portion of your day. If you commute, there is another large chunk of time taken up. Not to mention the domestic obligations like cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Everything we engage in keeps time ticking away. By the end of the day, we collapse, exhausted from not having had time to replenish.
In 2019, I decided to move my massage practice and yoga class home. I converted a small office conveniently located near the entrance, and I created a beautiful yoga studio in my lower level. It felt like a dream come true. By no longer commuting, I added six to seven hours to my week plus another one to two hours per day in saved preparation/clean up time. It was a wonderful gift! Somehow, though, I still felt as though I always had to be working, doing something that had to be added to my calendar. Until these past months. Everything changed.
Due to the global pandemic we are experiencing, everything came to a screeching halt. I removed almost everything from my calendar for over a year. Talk about being forced to slow down! In my journal, I came across the following message (written in 2018), I chuckled at how the Universe stepped in to slow us all down. Here is the message the ancient essence Himalayan Soti opened me up to receive:
You are very good at listening to the messages we bring you. We want you to feel and live those messages deeply. Slow down. Spend time taking it all in. All experiences come forth to remind you to stand in your authenticity. Stand in what you believe to be true. Do not waiver or allow the lower energies of doubt or judgment to overtake you. You must come from a place of unconditional love and compassion with the understanding that everyone is on their own journey. You are a messenger but not responsible for others’ choices to listen or not. Hear the messages, stand in your belief and authentic place, do not waiver. Believe what you are guided to say and do comes from a higher realm. We are a team and all receive eternal guidance from Source. You must believe and own this. No harm will come to you or those you serve as we come from a place of Divine Love. You have our blessing with you always. Release judgment, embrace who you are, and walk this journey with joy and gratitude in your heart.
A stay-at-home order isn’t exactly how we would all like life to be, but it is noteworthy. My prayer is that the majority of people see this as a wake-up call and use this opportunity to re-evaluate their lives. My husband and I have seen more children playing outside in our neighborhood in this past year than we’ve seen in the fourteen years we’ve lived here. We see more couples and families walking or bicycling together on the trails, keeping their safe distance, of course.
As I ponder the above message, I, too, am reminded of the importance of slowing down. It’s okay to have an empty calendar. It’s okay to just sit and contemplate. It’s okay to be an observer of nature and the beings occupying this beautiful planet. By slowing down, I feel more grounded and present than I have ever felt. I am reminded of a passage I learned in a Bible study group: “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NRSV)
By slowing down, I was able to endure the ominous pandemic consuming the attention of the entire world. I found gratitude for the simple task of being able to take a breath. I reached out with love and compassion to those who came to mind during my contemplative moments.
As our world begins to slowly open up and my schedule begins to fill, my hope is that I will remember the importance of balance. Being in the present moment is key for me to stay in the ebb and flow that life brings my way, and remain true to my authentic self.
Have you been able to take the time to slow down? If not, is there something on your calendar that really doesn’t NEED to be there?
What new insights have come your way when you have slowed down?
What messages of authenticity have you been ignoring?