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How I am learning to live slowly in a fast-paced world

Let’s face it. Slow living in the midst of everyday life out there in the real world is not easy. And this week, my shit hit the fan. You see, I’ve had the same morning routines forever. And I love them. But, this past week my soul told me that  it was time for some realigning, readjusting, and recalibrating in order to maintain a sense of balance + calm + slow living outside of the comfort of my cozy living room floor. And, turns out, that it wasn’t just my mornings that needed a little tweaking.

As I mentioned last week, September is a transitional month that lends itself to the energy of balance. Of slowly, intentionally, moving and adjusting and aligning ourselves with the new season that slowly. And, for me, this really hit home as I found myself frustrated at the beginning of the school year chaos that is still going on at work. Basically, I realized that life looked like 2 different things for me. Sweet slow living at home + wild chaos that leaves me feeling drained at work.

My shit hit the fan early on Monday morning when I arrived at work at 8:00. My usual time. I’d had a cozy, slow, inspiring morning at home, but by the time I walked into my office at work, all those vibes immediately disappeared. The second I crossed the threshold, people were demanding my attention – which is, of course, my job. And I start at 8:00 am, so this is to be expected. Now, all of my stress was absolutely no one’s fault. There was no one person or thing that happened, but I felt as the minutes ticked by I was losing my mind more + more. I didn’t have a stable base to stand on. I didn’t have time to breathe before I was off solving problems, taking care of issues, and moving full speed ahead. Without any sense of easing into anything.

What I mean is that my calm inner self was getting irritated + frustrated + way off balance. I didn’t recognize myself. Everything was moving so fast. I was reacting to everything, instead of responding from a place of peace. And it all felt wrong. 

By lunchtime, I had calmed down, slowed down by talking a walk outside, and immediately knew what I needed to do.

I needed to readjust my mornings so that I could bring my sense of calm at home into my work life. I needed to realign myself with my soul at work. So that I could be that safe, calm place/person for others that I strive to be – from 8:00am to quitting time in the afternoon.

The answer was super easy, actually. In order to start my day at work calmly, I needed to create a little white space in my work space. But, not only in the mornings, all throughout the day. And what that looks like is like this:

Arrive 30 minutes earlier, at 7:30, so I get 30 minutes to myself to slowly respond to emails + texts + to prepare myself for the day ahead.

→ Head outside at least once during the day to catch my breath + reconnect with my wildness.

→ Take the time to mindfully close the day + plan for the next day before I leave. Check my to-do list. Look over tomorrow’s activities/meetings/plans. Let go of all of the heaviness/worries of the day by sending out positive vibes to everyone I’ve met.

→ Engage in some soul time/meditation time at least one night a week after work before I head home. The plan is that Wednesdays are set aside for this.

So, on Tuesday – and each day thereafter –  I arrived at 7:30 + it made such a difference. Sure, I have to cut my morning meditations at home short, and I am still pondering how I am going to adjust/align my mornings at home (I’ll work on that next week); but it was so worth it to arrive at work early + have some time to myself. It actually felt like I drew out my home meditation time to cross-over into my work day…. something I have always had a hard time with.

I’ve always felt like my life has been somewhat compartmentalized, especially when it comes to my spirituality. Not that I need to actively show or talk about my spirituality wherever I am, but for it to be consciously on my mind + in all that I do. In other words, to not have a life on the yoga mat and a life in the world. They need to connect, be one in the same. What I practice at home + in a spiritual community, should be a part of my daily, outward, public life – if not in words, at least in actions + attitudes. Basically, I often feel that I suck sometimes at practicing what I preach or ponder.

And, it became obvious to me this week that my calm soul was taking a beating at work for some reason. So, bringing some quiet, white space to the rest of my day will, I believe, be that bridge that I am searching for.

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So, in an effort to use the balancing energy of September, I am going to play around with my schedule. Making my priorities of living a sacred, slow life an actual practical, lived-out priority. As I said above, I’m starting earlier, taking more breaks outside, mindfully closing each day at work, and setting aside one evening after work for soul stuff with my colleague so we can process/rest/relax/refocus/get perspective together: be it beer at a pub, meditation, or hanging at home.

And then, even in the midst of my chaotic, frenzied, fast-paced, confused, unexpected, take-care-of-this-new-thing-right now, exciting + never boring work, I can be a stable, grounded, deeply rooted tree. And my contemplative soul will find sacred peace right in the middle of everyday, wild life.

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Do you have routines that might possibly need some tweaking? More importantly, how have you been able to find some slow, intentional, white space moments in the middle of your busy days? September is the perfect month for us to think about these things + rebalance our lives as we release the summer, get back to work, and settle into the autumn’s inward, intentional vibes. In other words, it’s the perfect time for a little change + a little alignment… helping us to live our truth + our best lives.

Happy balancing, wild souls. xoxo. liz.

 

 

Published in life coaching

6 Comments

  1. Tracy Kathleen Tracy Kathleen

    I have to commend you for recognizing what your needs are and taking the responsibility to find out how to meet those needs. That’s just wonderful! For me, I think I have the opposite problem that you do. My life is often too slow and uneventful. I always start getting anxious and frazzled if things pick up though. I need to find a way to add more things/events/people in my life while managing my anxiety and keeping my stress lowered. The one thing I want to do that I keep putting off is getting back into the habits of my mornings walks. Now that mornings are cooler and I have a new pair of sneakers I have no excuse! By the way, what kind of shoes were those black ones that you took a pic of? I would love to have a pair!

    • Liz Liz

      Thank you so much for your kind support. It really has been a tiny tweak in my routine, but it has meant so much to me. I do hope that you are able to get back to walking in the mornings, if that is what your soul wants. It’s so nice when it begins to get a bit cooler! But, stay safe over the next few days as Florence comes through!

      Oh, the shoes! They are Vans. And so comfy! I got them at Journeys at the Asheville mall. 🙂

  2. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time, Liz! I’m not quite in the same situation you are, but my routine is in desperate need of some tweaking.

    All the morning routines I used to do and love fell out the window this year: my morning journaling/blogging, yoga, and walks were replaced by staying in bed later and later, scrolling through Instagram for an indecent amount of time, and reading. While reading may seem like a perfectly good choice, I’m most creative in the morning, and when I don’t do anything with it I end up vaguely dissatisfied for the rest of the day.

    I’m consciously getting back to my former routines, and it feels SO good! Like coming home.
    In theory it’s so easy: just making small adjustments, like you arriving at work 30 minutes early. But in practice it’s really hard to break out of (bad) habits – I guess they are called habits for a reason. Ha!
    But with the change of seasons the change has come almost naturally, and I’m so happy about it.

    Thanks for always inspiring and guiding us!
    Have a beautiful weekend!

    xoxo

    • Liz Liz

      I feel you, sister! While my weekday mornings are settled. My weekends are a different story. It takes so much self-discipline to get up + actively choose to follow the rituals + routines that feed my soul. I am absolutely most creative + inspired in the mornings, so I totally get you!

      Good luck to you as you ease back into it! The changing seasons absolutely helps I think! Love to you, my dear friend. xoxo

  3. “Sweet slow living at home + wild chaos that leaves me feeling drained at work.” This is so common these days.
    I, too, adjusted my schedule several years ago. I have meditation time at home before I leave, then try to remain calm during my almost 1:15 min morning commute, but I get to work before everyone else and have time to calm and ground again.
    It is so needed in this day and age. So glad you found something that works!!!

    • Liz Liz

      Yes, Pat! Yes! It is so needed in these days. So glad you prioritize youre needs too! xo

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