Are you listening to the Universe? What is your current Spiritual lesson? What keeps coming up for you in meditation, conversation, song, road sign, yoga class, email newsletter, etc? Write it down, begin to explore it. None of these things happen by coincidence!
My lesson of late is balance through the, “Art of Slowing Down.” I call it this because it is literally that. Moving slower, breathing slower, taking time to pause even when my task makers say go. You are the liaison between thought and action, mind and body, you and him or her. What nourishes your soul nourishes the deepest part of mine, so when you start feeding yourself in a way that creates enough space for you to know you are following joy, you are inherently being of service to the world.
I recall a memory from when I was about 25. It was months before I moved to India and started truly listening to my passionate heart. I was waitressing at the time to put myself through college. The eatery was well known for it’s food and service. If you know anyone who has ever worked in the restaurant business, they will surely tell you that it is quick paced and not error proof. There are a lot of moving parts to make that beautiful plate of food come to your table whilst the food is still hot (We hope.) Maybe you have worked at a restaurant yourself and you are nodding your head as we speak. I was good at my job, but tired. I had picked up extra shifts to pay for my plane ticket for an upcoming trip to India.
Thank God I had yoga and meditation at that time, but even that on some days did not feel like it was enough to slow my mind down. I have the tendency to be a huge people pleaser when I forget to take care of myself and place boundaries. It stems into the work place, and it definitely stemmed into that work place. Here is the exact memory to illustrate a busy bodied Alana and the little boy who changed everything for me that day with two simple words:
The restaurant’s Section 5 was closest to the kitchen on the left hand side. The kitchen was exposed so you could see the chefs, the food line up, the waiters/waitresses, and the food runners. I was literally running to the kitchen to grab table 55’s food, two hot plates of deliciousness in each hand with a cup of split pea soup stacked on a small plate resting on my forearm. I hurriedly walked to table 55 and successfully dismounted all of the plates, quickly smiled at beautiful brunette haired mother who was maybe in her 30’s, only to hear her 8 or 9 year old son say, “Where’s my soda?”
Shoot, I said to myself.
“I’ll be right back with that.” As I went to turned around I remembered I had to plug in table 50’s order still, and it was definitely supposed to have happened 5 minutes ago. I must have looked stressed as I spun on my left heel to turn to the waiter station computer and banged my funny bone and this time I let out a very audible, “SHOOT.” I was tired and overworked, and I felt like crying and that little boy saw all of this and said in a very direct tone.. “Slow DOWN.”
Wow. He’s right. How did I forget?
For whatever reason his words stuck with me. The Universe is amazing that way. She will send you reminders and experiences to help assist you in returning to the present moment if you are seeking them. I made sure to slow down for the rest of the day. I felt much more centered and at peace with the pace that I was going because I trusted that if I just kept breathing slowly and doing the next right thing as it arose, all would be well. It was.
How do we forget to slow down? Why do we hurriedly rush from thing to thing and cram out schedules SO tight that we exhaust ourselves to the point of burn out? Even Ariana Huffington, the creator of the Huffington Post and many other amazing businesses will tell you that taking time to slow down and pause is essential for your health, both mind and body. Even she, who is an incredible business woman had her limit when she collapsed from burn out and injured herself. That was her wake up call. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that wake up call. She listened! I was listening to a podcast interview with her the other day, and she said that when she was in the hospital recovering from that incident, she was determined to find balance in her work and personal life. She did!
I want to stop that madness before it gets to that point.
I still get gentle reminders today to slow down. I listen and try* to shift gears and re-find balance through slowing down when reminders occur. I know that those reminders get louder if I ignore them, just like ALL spiritual lessons do. It is very easy to get back to running the rat race because it’s all around me in the USA. I am so grateful for my yoga and surf retreat portion of Explorations of Self because it gets me out of my routine here and these retreats always, always, always remind me that life can be lived in a much fuller way when I slow down and keep things simple.
If this article is speaking to you right now, the Universe is most likely nudging you to take a pause and breathe deeply. Be grateful for what is in front of you right now. Any successful AND happy person will tell you that their happiness comes from appreciation of what and who they have in their life right now. Their appreciation from the NOW moment is what propels them into a forward flow of success. Gratitude for what we have and living a purpose driven, happy life go hand in hand.
So when you wake up tomorrow morning, I encourage you to ask yourself 2 things.
- How can I find balance in my day, TODAY? What gave you balance yesterday won’t necessarily give you balance today. Schedules change. Surprises arise. How can you adapt and find balance in each day? This is LIFE CHANGING and when you make sure you honor your balance every day, you will find more joy and happiness in your life.
- What am I grateful for TODAY? Write a list or mindfully review what you are grateful for today! My lists always start with God, my daughter, the people in my life, roof over my head, running water, yoga, Explorations of Self, the clients I have… etc. When you appreciate what you have, you send a vibration out that feels GOOD. The Universe feels what you feel, and when you feel good things, you are open to receiving all of the good things that life has to offer. Most importantly, you feel uplifted. Gratitude is empowering! Keep it simple. Try these 2 practices every day for a month and let me know what shifts for you!
Author: Alana Roach, Founder of Explorations of Self. Business Owner International Yoga & Surf Retreat Leader, Mother, Writer, and Social Media guru.