When I saw the blue flashing lights behind me, I pulled over to the side of the road to let the police car pass, and was shocked when he pulled up behind me. I thought I was driving safely, going with the flow of traffic, maybe 5 – 10 miles over the 50 mile an hour speed limit. Turns out I was going 60 in a 40 mile an hour zone! Dang!
My sister and I were frustrated and angry at this glitch in our day that had felt totally blessed and in the flow. A speeding ticket? Really? I was angry, embarrassed, frustrated. Afterwards, as we watched the signs, we saw the speed limits change often from 40 to 55, and then there were some signs that posted “minimum speed” of 40. Good fuel for feeling like Hawaii had set speed traps and were just into collecting money, feeling like it was all unfair.
When we got back to our lovely Kona condo, I spent some time tapping and tuning in – and I remembered that the policeman said a couple of times “Slow down, ma’am!”.
Well, I know I need to slow down! I need to manage stress better, and the sense of being overwhelmed at all the projects I want to complete. Even though I was on vacation, I was still somewhat driven and focused on a project I was helping my sister with. OK! I will more consciously slow down!
I was sad that I had not been more conscious about slowing down on this vacation, and that I needed “the two by four over my head” instead of following my guidance. On the other hand, I reminded myself it could have been so much worse! We did not get in an accident, the car did not break down, I just got a ticket that cost me some money I was not planning on spending. Oh well.
How can we more consciously slow down? I believe it starts with being aware of how you are feeling – getting present in your body. Most of us are so caught up in our “to-do” lists and getting through the day, we don’t really pay attention to our bodies. For many of us, our habit is to ignore how we are feeling and push through – using our stress as fuel to keep going.
Slowing down can be a conscious effort that is often more difficult than being busy. We can start by paying attention to our breathing, and your body moving as you breathe. Pay attention to your feet on the floor. Feel your back. Let yourself move a little – even if you are sitting at your desk – stretch your back and neck, move your feet and legs.
And, let yourself take a moment and feel grateful. I love this quote –
“For one minute,
look up at the sky,
and contemplate how amazing life is.”
– from majasdiary.com