This shouldn’t feel like such a revelation to me. All of my teachers, coaches, gurus, and role models have been saying it to me (directly or through their work) forever. It took some serious intention and work over the last few months, but it clicked in this past Tuesday night when I flung open the garage door and asked the Bunny-Daddy: Why don’t I feel like an anxious mess right now?
He said: Because you slowed down.
It was the evening after our first day back in the classroom. Teachers are sold the paradigm that we’re supposed to be exhausted, or worse, after the first day. But I didn’t feel tired.
I work at one of two high schools in our county that went back “all in,” with something like 91% of the student body opting to come to school in-person rather than attend virtually. Masks, barriers, distancing, staggered passing in the halls, teaching that handful of virtual learners simultaneously along with the in-person students. I was supposed to be in fear and doubt… but I was rolling with it.
I had my Rescue and business responsibilities to attend to, personal and professional preparations to manage, all the things I’ve been working towards and on for a few years now. But the pressure to get it all done right now I would normally feel, that pressure that would typically manifest as a lump in my throat and moving at a chaotic pace was missing. That’s why I went out to the garage to ask, to seek clarity, to ask What am I forgetting to do? Because I felt at peace, I felt in control, I felt genuinely good… and I couldn’t understand why or how in that moment.
A-ha… all the work is working. Call it surrender, call it letting go, or quote my teacher Gabby and say, “Slow down, sister.” I never thought I could slow down. I didn’t trust enough to delegate. I cared too much about the wrong things to even understand the concept of surrender. I used to say, to anyone who would listen, that I needed a retreat… and then I would follow up with a word-vomit of how I could never even take a half-day of a break, no less go on an actual retreat.
What I did, however, was capitalize on time at home over the past few months. I lived without the pressure of doing more and doing everything. I started digging deeper with my angel of a therapist. We worked (and are still working) on the causes, not just on the symptoms. One’s relationship with food is often a symptom. Overdoing it with substances, work, exercise, or distractions is often a symptom. Gotta find that cause, then honor, treat and heal it!
Once I saw and felt true progress, I hired a coach to keep me accountable and focused. It would have been so easy to slip back into the ways I’d always done things, the ways that didn’t feel great but felt familiar. I was not going to backslide. And, of course, along the way I oiled up, I opened up, and I committed to consuming only what made me feel good– that includes food, conversations, and media.
I needed to slow down, just a notch in some areas, completely in others, to feel better. My pace was crushing me. I’m happy to report that I’m embracing feeling good now. I’m still doing a lot… but it feels different. Ah, the feels…
I don’t say this to impress you. I say this to impress upon you that you can choose a better feeling thought, you can develop your mindset, and you can get real with just how darn powerful and magical you truly are.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some breath work to do. Much love.