On Slowing Down

This morning, I told myself I was going to work from the comfort of my bed because I felt a little ill. Within an hour, I was working from a bustling coffee shop down the street from my studio, ignoring my headache and the sniffles that came with it.

In the afternoon, I told myself to take a 30-minute break before a couple important calls. To make my lunch while listening to a favorite podcast. Instead, I postponed my lunch until all my calls were finished and the hunger pangs had set in.

Just now, I sat in my bed and researched decaf turmeric lattes for my own personal pleasure, then spent the next hour frantically shooting off several paragraphs to one of my editors, pitching a health story about said lattes.

You see, I’m really not good at slowing down. I’m not good at being in the moment, at taking a “chill pill,” at enjoying recommended lunch breaks. I move fast, talk quickly and think about a million things at once. I cut my own self off when talking, splicing my thoughts.

With the exception of today, though, I’ve been getting better. I’ve had many a business and writing idea that hasn’t fully come to fruition, and I think this is largely because I have too many thoughts in my head, too many balls in the air. So instead of forcing these projects to completion, I’ve decided to let them come to me on their own. I’ve been taking some “me” time to restore my own creative energy. How? I’ve started by doing Lagree five times a week. It’s an intense, 45-minute workout that forces me to be. in. the. moment. Otherwise, I may just let my megaformer slip out from under me.

I’ve also dedicated myself to walking 40 minutes home from my office every day. I take a long, scenic stroll through downtown Portland, into the Pearl and toward Slabtown. Sometimes I drift into my favorite store, Papyrus, which sells planners and calendars of all things.

Lastly, I stretch and take a 15-minute bath with epsom salts every night before bed. Now, it was only a month ago that I couldn’t stand baths. The thought of them? Yes. They brought thoughts of relaxation. But actually committing myself to 15 minutes of sitting still proved tortuous and unsettling to my two legs that aren’t accustomed to being stationary. But I’ve grown to love my baths and to use them as moments to check in with myself. I journal. I listen to podcasts that aren’t news related (for once). I slow my thoughts, so I can understand them. Decipher them. And then act on them with much more precision than is possible when they’re tangled. A slowed-down world makes a lot more sense sometimes.