I rush. I hurry. Whether or not it’s necessary, I generally move at a pace that’s slightly sped up.
As a kid, I liked to sleep in. This caused me to have to rush in the mornings. In my late teens and early 20s, I worked as a waitress at a busy restaurant where moving slowly wasn’t an option. Once out of college and into my then-career as a court reporter, I traveled to many different counties each week. If you’re even slightly familiar with Southern California traffic, you know the stress that accompanies driving basically anywhere on the freeway.
Once I had kids and was fortunate to stay at home and raise my babies, my habitual rushing continued. To avoid meltdowns (the kids’ and mine), I had to get the shopping done before naptime, needed to hurry up on the road because someone inevitably had to poop as we were out the door, or was in a rush over getting dinner cooked and served before the crew went cranky.
Teaching yoga has caused me to slow down, at least while in class, so as not to harsh people’s mellow. In that setting, I’m aware of my body, its movements, and its pace. I’m absolutely more mindful of myself while I’m teaching. But outside of a yoga class, all bets are off.
I walk quickly (often because I’m rushing to the bathroom, let’s be honest). I eat quickly for absolutely no reason. Being in a state of near-constant hurry results in my body continuously feeling like I’m in panic mode, which isn’t great for the adrenals. If you’re unfamiliar with what the adrenal glands are or what they do, check out this great article from Johns Hopkins.
Now that I’m noticing when I’m moving faster than needed (and doing so without judgment), I’m slowing down. This loops back to last week’s post about me slipping and falling and being on the quest for a more mindful daily experience. If I’m moving at a relaxed pace, I’m less likely to bang my toe into the doorway. If I’m chewing my food slower, my digestion benefits and I can savor the flavors more. This is just another way to bring mindfulness into my life, and I’m grateful for the opportunity (and reminder) to be in the present moment.