Time to Slow Down

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What if this breath is all you’ve got?

This one you’re breathing now.

Would you savor it? Taste its sweetness?

What if this moment is all you’ve got?

Could you see its beauty? Experience its preciousness?

Take a nice, deep breath with me, will you? Inhale —– and exhale. Ahhh.

Let’s step back a moment and imagine you can see your life from miles away.

Do you recognize that speeding dot on the map? Is it really YOU?

In his beautiful book, simply entitled Sabbath, Wayne Muller writes,

“In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between work and rest… All life requires a rhythm of rest… We have lost this essential rhythm. Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something – anything – is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations, we do not rest. Because we do not rest, we lose our way…”

I received a vivid reminder of this need for rest and stillness last week, when I had the pleasure of experiencing some equine coaching at the beautiful Apache Springs Ranch in Sonoita, AZ. As an Equine Coach myself, I thought it would be fun and interesting to experience a different style and approach to the practice. As usual, the horses had a way of bringing the necessary insights right in front of my face.

I told my coach that I wanted to work on the tension I was feeling between going a mile-a-minute just dealing with the day-to-day necessities, and the desire I had to slow down, take space, and re-imagine what I really wanted to do next. She invited me to go into the round pen, and just explore whatever I wanted to do.

I entered the round pen with a beautiful, older mare named Zoe. She had been a little stand-offish with the previous client, so I thought I would show her an activity we do at Eponaquest called “Mutual Respect,” to let her know she had a choice with how close she wanted me to be. I wanted her to turn toward me and approach me, but I wanted it to be her choice to do so, not me “making it happen.” After a few minutes of playing with this activity, which she seemed to appreciate, I decided to take a little break and step way back to where I could regroup. re-ground, breathe, expand my view of the fields and mountains, and quietly reflect. After a few moments, I heard a quiet sound. Zoe was walking toward me!

I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. So I did a little of both. It was such a beautiful reminder that when I do commit to taking the space and time I need to feel grounded, centered, and aware, magical things happen.

Is that true for you, too?

I knew then and there that I had to make a renewed commitment to taking time like that for myself on a regular basis. Time to step back. Time to consider the bigger picture. Time to rest. Time to do – nothing.

I “knew” that, but somehow, seeing it played out with this beautiful creature, and — feeling it in my body — made it more real.

I realized that I had slipped into the mindset that if I just finished this one thing, then I would rest, regroup, and re-envision the big picture. But of course, there is always “one more thing.” And then one more thing. And one more, two more, three more after that. And when everything is sped up, and close-up, every little mundane thing seems vitally important. (And it’s NOT!)

I felt so grateful that I had taken the day to experience the equine coaching. What I had imagined as a fun opportunity for professional development actually turned out to be some soul nourishment that I hadn’t realized how deeply I needed!

We all need time like that to slow down, to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, to reflect and consider, to listen to that quiet voice of wisdom within. I’ve renewed my commitment to taking that time, and making that time, on a regular basis. I’d be overjoyed to know you are too! Whether you’re experiencing a challenge with that, like I was, or simply want to share your thoughts, hit reply to connect. I always love hearing from you.

Have a wonderful week,

Erin Menut, MA, E-RYT
Yoga, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Equine Facilitated Learning

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