don’t hurry, be happy

I discovered a stack of old yoga journal magazines this past weekend and wanted to make a vision board for a long term project that I have been dreaming about. I struggle with what to do with magazines after I’ve read them. Throw them out, recycle them, give them to others? I have decided to just take one each week and tear it apart. Cut up the images I love and pull and save the articles, recycle the rest of the paper.

The issue I pulled out last Sunday was from 2007 and I stumbled on an article by Christina Feldman called Don’t Hurry, Be Happy. The tagline for the article was “Slow down, find the gap between thoughts about the past and the future, and discover the loveliness of an ordinary moment.”

It was the “loveliness of an ordinary moment” that caught my attention. It is a really nice article about how she made a New Year’s resolution to give up hurrying for an entire year and how her mind and body were connected and yet easily enough she could still physically move quickly and have her mind not be hurrying.

Hmmm…the definition of hurry is to move or act with haste, rush. It is not the movement that is the problem, or the speed with which we move, it’s the intention, or lack of intention, with which we approach it.

How often do you or others you talk with every day discuss being so busy, not having enough time, being behind, feeling like you are always rushing.

It’s so part of our culture and we just begin to believe that this constant rush is the way it is. Or is it? Is there a choice? You can play the movie of life at fast forward or you can slow it down. Slowing down can mean two practices.

First, what would it be like to slow down your yoga practice? To hold a pose for 10 – 20 breaths and really explore what it is like to be present with every aspect of that configuration of body and mind and explore what that position of your body brings up for you. Doing bridge pose was practically impossible for me for a while ago because I was struggling with some really tough heart issues and the position was just too vulnerable for me. Warrior II and forward folds were poses that helped build my courage and strength during that time and staying in them for more than the usual 4 breaths really shifted my energy and grounded me.

What if you picked one or two poses for February to really slow down with. Bridge and Warrior II are awesome poses to explore. Or check out a yin yoga class or video where poses are held for 3-5 minutes.

The other way is to slow down the mind. As Christina notes, she could move quickly, so the no hurrying resolution was not intended as a path to slothdom. So what if you could slow down the mind and stop being in a mental hurry? Here is where she discovers the loveliness of the ordinary moment.

When we are processing what is right before us, the beautiful pattern on the dishes you have from your grandmother could trigger a smile as you remember her and how much that relationship brought joy to your life. Or you might realize how fortunate you are to have food to serve your family every night in a warm, safe, peaceful home. This is a very different experience from rushing through getting the dishes done to get another load of laundry in and just get through another day.

Christina writes, “Life can be filled with countless lost moments. It is all too easy to miss the simple moments that can make your heart sing: a child’s laughter, a crisp snowflake resting on the windshield, the beat of your own heart.” It’s so true, there is beauty and joy under all of life’s simple daily tasks.

Today what happy can you discover when you brush away the hurry? What loveliness can you find in every ordinary moment? What simplicity and beauty can you find in yourself and the world around you, just by looking?

Be well…it’s a state of mind.

Alice Dommert
deliver me wellness

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