On June 11th, 2017 from 12:00-3:30 PM I'll be facilitating a workshop called Take A Breather!, an opportunity for terrific, smart, talented, committed and caring New York City area women to unwind and recharge. It'll be at The Lucid Body House, 230 Lexington Avenue between 33rd/34th Streets.
One of the reasons I've created the program is the sense that in our busy striving lives we primarily tune into and access half of who we are – the “Doing” part. We become focused on taking actions, solving problems, making decisions, avoiding risk. And when we’re very busy and there's a lot of buzz in the world, a kind of narrow, rigid, streamlined vigilance to the logical part of our brains takes over and we live and act from there. I noticed that in my own life when I let myself be run by that perspective and its resulting behavior, the Being part of me is tightly wound, easily irritated, impatient and not very open to joy and wonder. But a fulfilled life is an ongoing dance between the Being and the Doing.
“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?” – Seng-ts’an
I stumbled across this quote and it made me stop and sit up because it’s the opposite of what we’re taught to believe. We are taught that if we approach our problems with the rationality of our minds, all will be well. Programmed and encouraged to believe the indisputable truth that with a logical approach, all life’s answers are solvable and at our fingertips and in today’s technological world, immediately so.
But what if our answers don’t come or they don’t come when we want or demand, as quickly as our phones and computers, TVs, iPads, act? The speed of modern life is doing us in and causing huge amounts of stress. We are more and more controlled by our devices rather than the other way around and we literally become wired for instantaneous results. It’s hard to wait, isn’t it? We expect it all to happen NOW, solutions to come NOW…and if they don’t, we become agitated, irritated, impatient and perhaps begin to feel there’s something the matter with us or with them, whoever they are. And these thoughts can leave us open to the goblins of fear, worry, insecurity and anxiety, which affect our bodies, minds, emotions and spirits. And that has an impact on our health, our relationships, our work, and the overall quality of our lives.
When I was growing up, I don’t think anyone ever said to me, “Slow down” in relation to anything other than riding a bike, running in school hallways or in and out of my house. But what if we breathed and slowed down in all aspects of our lives? What if we both literally and figuratively allowed ourselves to pause and breathe?
The funny thing is, is that this makes logical and scientific sense. When we slow down and breathe, the nervous system slows down, too and we have greater access to information that comes to us through other systems and sources of wisdom… through our senses for example…what we see, hear, taste, smell, touch and “sense” or intuit. More present to the world around us, we are not as gripped and run by the adrenalin of fear-inducing fight, flight or freeze. We have greater access to more information, knowledge, memory, intuition and the inner guidance of our best self.
Slowing down also increases the overall quality of our lives. Not just something to do on a vacation or as a tool for solving problems and making decisions, consciously finding and creating pockets of time to slow down and become present on a regular basis can literally open our eyes to what’s around us. Even the seemingly insignificant can increase our sense of wonder, appreciation and gratitude, and alter our body's state of being from one of tension to one of more peace, calm and appreciation.
You know how you feel in your whole being when you catch the early morning sunlight hitting a building on the way to the subway? The smile and greeting from a neighbor or friend you haven't seen in awhile? Your child’s excitement when learning something new? The taste of delicious food or thirst-quenching drink, the feel of a balmy breeze on your skin on a beautiful Spring or Summer's day? The possibilities are endless. Being open to our senses expands the quality of our experience of our lives.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” - Annie Lamott
If you are in New York City on Sunday, June 11th, I hope you'll interrupt the rat race of your life to join me for an afternoon of fun, creativity and experiential learning within a supportive, playful group atmosphere at Take A Breather! from 12:00 – 3:30 PM at The Lucid Body House, 230 Lexington Avenue between 33rd/34th Street.
It's a chance to reclaim some sanity and joy, to show up and be who you really are, with your creative energy – which is the expression of the life force within you. And in the workshop I’ll be sharing some of the key strategies, tools and tips that I’ve found that work for me.
For more information and to register: