Back in the summer of 2019 I was asked to share my favourite summer wellness rituals with weedbox.io and it got me thinking about the things I do during the summer. The most important thing I've been working towards over the past few years is consciously slowing down rather than speeding up to keep up with the pace of the city.
There’s something amazing that happens when summer hits Toronto. The sun delivers her yang energy and we go into overdrive doing all the things. It's what we do when we know that hot weather is finite. We have to be out in the sun, on the patios, showing up to all the festivals, parades and parties, and if we don't there's all the fear of missing out.
While we're out doing all the things and getting our summer on, are we listening to our bodies? Are we checking in with what we need and being still so that we can hear our inner whispers?
This year, after an overwhelmingly busy June, (didn't it feel like we went from 0 to 1000 in like 2 weeks?!) I found myself feeling like I was struggling to keep up so I scheduled a few days to stop and recuperate. I went back to meditation and stillness, and made my way back in communion with my body, my highest self, and my guides.
The message: Slow down. Be intentional with your energy. Be aware of behaviour patterns when out of alignment. Do what you need to do to be in alignment.
My body needed rest, nature and quiet, so I made a commitment to myself to wonder and explore the magic of slowing down.
As you read what I've reflected on for these past few weeks, I invite you to ask yourself what the magic of slowing down feels and looks like for you.
For me, slowing down is:
Developing and maintaining awareness of my pace and choosing to press pause when I feel myself getting caught up. For me, a sign of this is the feeling of (self imposed) pressure to do all the things.
Being present in my experience rather than being in the commentary of my mind. When noticing that I'm in my brain, I shift and move my awareness to my body and take that as an opportunity to check in.
Choosing myself radically and carving out me time in my calendar.
Reiki, Reiki and more Reiki. Incorporating it in as many ways as I can.
Saying no to most things, creating time and space for myself. Also only saying yes to that which feels in alignment. It's important to check in with the body here, it'll always tell you what's in alignment with you and what isn't.
Frequent and mindful breathing (which is amazing at stopping the brain chatter) and is a great practice to incorporate periodically throughout the day.
Making sleep a priority. Going to bed earlier and sleeping in, taking naps and resting. *This is one of the hardest things to do for me, it can be challenging to stop working and nap so when I'm really feeling it I take 20 minutes for yoga nidra. I'm usually able to nap right after.
Detaching from self imposed deadlines. It's amazing how we can stress ourselves out with this! I find it helpful to put things into priorities. What needs attention now? What do I have energy for? What can wait?
This list is a work in progress, it'll grow and evolve as I do. Feel free to use what resonates for you to develop your own list of what slowing down looks like for you. I invite you to take a moment right now to breathe and get still, to ask your body what it needs and listen for the answer.
Let's do it together.
Slow down the breath, bringing your awareness to the abdomen filling and emptying as you inhale and exhale. Breathe slowly, fully and mindfully. Expanding. Letting go of tension. Allowing your awareness to rest in your body. Ask "Beautiful body of mine, I'm so grateful for you. What do you need right now?" Be patient and stay in your slow, mindful space and listen. Make note of what comes up for you. Come back when you're ready. Trust that whatever came up for you is what you need. Trust that by acting upon the information you received and your body's needs, you are choosing yourself and nurturing yourself.
Know that with the energies, intense as they are, it's a necessity to press pause and find your own magic in slowing down. These times are shaking things up and creating such profound change that we have to stop and allow. Choosing the path of least resistance will make this process of evolution we're in that much easier.
Make time for what's sacred to you. Create ceremony. Develop and nurture your connection to self, to Source and your amazing human body. We are shifting from doing all the things to choosing consciously and being in alignment. Allow the process. Find the magic in slowing down.
Sending you so much love, May you revel in the magic that surrounds you and slooooow down 😉 C. xo