How Still Can I Be?
Savasana. Also known as Corpse Pose in yoga. I heard it described as ‘the art of lying still.’ Some people say it’s the most important part of a yoga practice. It used to drive me nuts.
After all, there were tasks demanding to get done. I’d lay there restless, as my mind spun; how am I supposed to be successful, build my business, stay strong, and manage my image if I’m lying on the floor?
Doing Less in Europe
I remember when I went to Europe in 2009 for 6 weeks for my honeymoon. Americans were stunned. “6 weeks!” None of the Europeans were stunned; In fact, they were fascinated by the ridiculously short 2 weeks of vacation accepted as normal in the U.S. “Why don’t Americans take breaks?”
When I went to Europe for 9 months in 2018 I finally learned to slow down—to BE. I would catch myself pushing on hikes to see how fast and how far I could go. I would stop and think: Who cares how fast you go? Who cares if your average speed is 3.4 instead of 2.9 mph on this challenging stretch of rugged terrain? No one is going to give you a medal for doing the 96-mile West Highland Way in 4 days instead of 5 or 6. Why don’t you chill out and enjoy?
Emotions Dictate Speed
I admit, some days I did want to see how fast I could go over the terrain. Or I knew I was pushing my luck to get to an area to set up camp before dark or to get back to the only bus that would take me back to the hostel for the night. Sometimes my speed was a game.
Other days I knew I was emotionally processing and would slow down and use Emotional Freedom Techniques a.k.a tapping. I would tune into the past situation, allow myself to finally feel—to become angry or sad. Or to grieve the loss of things I never had allowed myself to feel before and tap, tap, tap to get rid of it.
I knew had I changed when I returned. My ex-husband even noticed. “I can tell you are much calmer than ever before. I’ve never seen you sit this long and be relaxed about it.” He marveled that I stopped multitasking all of the time. I am focused even when I am bustling about. I achieve just as much but with less anxiety, stress, and negative self-talk. Even when things are going wrong, technology is failing, clients are cancelling, my body hurts, or I am running late, I roll with the flow.
Until the last 2 weeks.
I’ve been exhausted. I started blaming it on the planetary shifts and the moon (which does affect me BTW), but when I looked at my schedule I realized that the American drive to DO had crept back into my life– sneaking clients in on my writing days, meetings on my client days, and work on the weekends.
I talked to my friend in Norway today. “Go, go go,” she noted with a note of pity in her voice. “I guess it’s the American way, isn’t it.” I laugh now as I write this, but I was actually offended. I thought I had crushed that pattern; had risen above and learned to be present.
Others Expect Me To…
And I have learned to ‘be’ instead of ‘do.’ Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I allow the negative self-talk of others and their projection of what I should be to affect me on the inside, and I start caving in. I catch myself lacking in self-care, becoming irritable, not sleeping, overthinking every little thing, making decisions quickly, then thinking I made the wrong decision and doing it over again.
My Question for You
Where is your negative self-talk driving you to do more than you really need? Where have you learned that you are not complete as you are, and that you must do more to gain others’ approval?
What I Am Saying
I’m not saying we shouldn’t better ourselves or strive for more. Observe where your actions and goals align with your heart and passion, versus where the outside world is “demanding” something different. My hope is that my story helps you take a step back, breathe, and just lie still, feel your body, and do you.
Need Help? You know where to find me.