Fast forward

fast-forwardIt’s human nature to live life in the fast lane, always rushing full steam ahead! Cheryl asks, what can we do to take a break right here in the present? 

Not so long ago I found myself wishing for a day when I could just lie in bed, read, sleep, drink tea and be downright lazy. Well, they say be careful what you wish for, for indeed my wish did come true – but in the form of a rather nasty throat infection followed by a bout of bronchitis! One night I went to bed feeling ok and the next morning I woke up with the sensation I’d swallowed a drawer of cutlery for breakfast. For days I was on antibiotics and bed rest, and then following a week of recovery and feeling good, I contracted my daughter’s bronchitis and was back to square one again!

It’s that time of year when many of us are thinking ahead to holidays, time away from the rat race and a break from the old routine. I’d asked for a way of taking my foot of the gas. I’d wanted a way of detoxifying from all the hustle and bustle, a way of reassessing where I was right here, right now. Was this nature’s way of saying: ‘Slow down, you’re going too fast?’ A little reminder to come right back to the present?

I don’t know about you, but lately, there have been times I’ve been rushing so far into the future that I’d forgotten to see that the break I craved could be right here in the present. Can that email wait just a little? Can you read a book instead of your ipad? Can you close your eyes and breath instead of switching on the TV? Can you just sip your tea as you simply watch the world going by?

The first day after that first week of illness that I felt marginally better I went and sat by Dubai Marina. I drank my coffee with a backdrop of boats and birds and I let these words flow. It made me realise that much of our daily angst is created by our own internal need to live life on a fast forward setting. We may be on our yoga mats one day thinking ahead to our endless ‘to dos,’ from the work deadlines right down to the grocery shopping. Or we might not even make it to our mat that day because we let the weight of these future chores eat into our enjoyment of the present. I know I’m certainly guilty of the latter!

So what can we do to slow down today? It can begin with the very simplest of things. Not flicking on your phone the moment you open your eyes. Sharing a hug instead of a status update. Letting the dishes wait for ten more minutes while you roll out your mat for a quick practice. What little mindful changes can we make to take that time out, right here in this very moment? See what you can come up with, and you may just surprise yourself – that break you need might be waiting just around the corner.

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Post adapted from Cheryl’s column in the June issue of Yogalife Magazine

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