It is a day of total ‘go mode’ and it feels rushed with so many things on and trying to get them all done – it feels too busy and you would much rather be productive than this crazy mode. It is a day that I skipped meditation as I needed to get a jump on the day and start my tasks early. In my head, I am justifying missing this as I am in such a good place and I don’t need to stress about missing a practice. When I start the day I feel like I have got this and I am ok juggling all these ‘to-do’ tasks. The day moves forward and task after task, I have forgotten to use the bathroom or even drink water as I have been fast-paced all day and then it hits me. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN! Nothing is so important that you need to forget looking after you.
There have been stages where I need to do shit and get it done but that has been when I have been deployed overseas or on a major Army Exercise and required to work 10-12 hour days, I can get shit done when I need to. My every day is not that time and I have to step away from the conditioning of this. I have done this 'go mode' so many times and week after week, until Friday hits and well I am lying on the lounge with 2-3 wine bottles drunk and the wheel of camembert gone and I can’t cook dinner because I am emotionally exhausted as I have given all of me all week.
Some of you might be thinking, that is what the weekend is for – how Friday is wine o'clock and how that is the unwind time. It is not for me, I am seeking vitality in every day, joy in every day that is my goal, I am forever working on it.
For me when I recognised that I was being busy the magic was acknowledging and slowing down. Wow, this is a lesson, not to jump into that mode but to step back and have a look at it from every angle then with ease and grace focus on one task, like when I'm typing now I feel the keys under my fingers watching the letters appear on the screen and I am enjoying just being creative. I am mindful at the moment, I guess it is like a bit of a bubble. This is slowing down for me and I realised that this was something that I needed in my every day, it is a practice I wanted to work on and ensure that I kept. I was getting more work done if I was more mindful in my tasks. I also needed to be mindful in my breaks as well. This magic made me feel restful, more vitality and enjoying all the smaller things just like typing now. I created my list and I could focus on one thing at a time. I became calmer.
I met this lady called Lisa Wescott who is another friend in my circle and she introduced me to tea! I am a coffee drinker and was not keen on tea at all, as coffee is all about to go go go! My only introduction to tea was a Lipton bag in a mug with milk (yuck) - give me coffee any day. When I met Lisa I was mesmerised in her tea telling stories, the world stopped as she explained about what the tea reminded her off ( a memory from her past) where the leaves came from, what they felt like, how to seep and prepare each different type of tea. I would love how she could recommend food to pair with particular teas (she also loves to bake). It felt like meditation in itself. I was so so lost in that story with her and her tea was exceptional.
For me making a pot of tea took time, we all know how to do things quickly but do we know how to slow it down? To make coffee it is one press of my machine and bam it's instantly done for me! That is this day and age. But choosing a tea, using a teapot, selecting a beautiful teacup, seeping, waiting, pouring and then sitting and enjoying the tea was this magical mindful act. Is this meditation in itself?
I had previously worn my ‘busy’ badge like it was a medal that I wear on my Army uniform. I realise how crazy this is as I cringe when I hear the words “I am so busy”. I want to hear how people are making time for themselves, the no crashing on Friday evening but the enjoyment of life.
This practice has become one of my foundations, being mindful is an art form and something to practice every day. I find from tea making and focusing on one thing at a time when someone comes to talk to me they have my full attention when my daughter needs a hug then I get lost in that moment and when David captures me for a kiss in the kitchen I kiss just that bit longer. Being mindful and practising with tea has helped me slow everything down.
Who is up for a cup of tea?
I want you to be happy in your career; with my workshops we can tackle any issues that stop you from reaching that. You won't need a sea change but love who you are and what you do.