Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Art of Downshifting

I am a woman of extremes. Sometimes I find myself on top of a mountain completely disconnected from the modern world and basking in the light of Spirit; other times I fly around my house like a headless chicken, maniacally seeking the never-ending end of the to-do list. I think it's time for me to learn the middle way.

Two weeks ago, I was literally on top of a mountain in Northern California. Many wonderful things transpired for me -- some personal, some communal, some marital, and all spiritual. It was my time to remember who I was: a Divine being worthy of joy and love. I am so grateful for the transformational journey I took, and it's experiences will stay with me always.

So what did I do upon returning from this Zen-like state of absolute bliss?

I stressed out, of course!

First of all, going for more than a week without writing is NOT good for me. I missed my creative outlet and I longed to receive my regular treatments from the King of All Healers, MacDaddy. When I did re-enter my so-called-normal life, I was inundated with the heavy tolls one pays when going out of town: laundry, mail, laundry, putting away stuff, laundry, catching up on email, and laundry. Each day I promised myself that I would sit down to write, and each day I filled it with other tasks deemed "more important" than my creative expression and primary vocation. I had excuse upon excuse that kept me from MacDaddy. My need for literary release became stronger and the gulf between the written word and me became larger.

This morning, I became acutely aware of how I had inadvertently micromanaged my schedule such that writing time was not even considered. I would get up early to make The Bean her breakfast and lunch, go to an appointment, follow up on a proposal, send some important emails, have a working lunch with Michael, update my web site, pick up The Bean from the bus stop and get her hair cut, go to Publix for milk and other necessaries, and finish the day by primping myself for a fancy shindig I will attend later this evening. In my mind, I had accounted for every minute of the day, leaving absolutely no room for one teensy little thing: ME.

Thankfully, a little while ago I forced myself to step away from the computer so I could finally, truly return to it. For the first time since returning from my spiritual retreat, I put on Jai Uttal's "Music For Yoga and Other Joys", did some much-needed movement, and had a fantastic, relaxing, restorative meditation practice. How ridiculous it was to respond to my spiritual retreat by totally ignoring Spirit. Duh. Double Duh.

It was glorious to move my body again! I had grown tired of being one big head, unconsciously flitting from task to task, wishing hoping begging that I could get it all done and knowing that I never would. This afternoon in our meditation room, I did what is foreign to me: I downshifted. I slowed down and allowed my spirit, head, heart, and body to occupy the same space. It was nothing less than Divine.

After only 15 minutes of quiet reflection, my muse returned to me in all her splendor. I knew what I would write about and how I would return to my rightful role as Author, Speaker, and Bringer of the Mojo. I would simply share with you how difficult it is to jump from total release to total responsibility in the blink of an eye. The guilt for having gone away propels us forward and pushes us to accomplish just one more item on the list. Why do we think we don't deserve to slow down, even after a period of rest? Is it some sort of emotional masochism that yells, "You can enjoy your vacation, but you better damn well know you'll pay the price for it when you return!"

That's total bullshit.

I want to live in the groove where it's OK to slow down, even if it is for just 15 minutes a day. I want to give myself permission to write as often as possible. I want to bask in the moment instead of automatically jumping to the next one. I want to remember that I am more than a mom and a wife. In the end, I want to put into practice what I learned on the mountain.

Thank you for waiting for me, dear reader. I know that I have been absent for a while, and I know that it is annoying when you are used to seeing new installments of my Serious Mojo blog on a regular basis. I appreciate your patience and will do my best to deliver the goods from this point forward. We are in a relationship together, you and I. And I am ready to do my part again.

Ahhhh.....it feels SO GOOD to be back.


For your consideration and/or comment:

Do you ever go crazy right after vacation?


Visit www.TheresaRose.net to take a peek inside the award-winning Opening the Kimono!


Michelle said...

You are very funny. I enjoy reading your blog. I would tell you how I happened upon your space, but I can't remember. All I remember is that I laughed...a lot. So thanks for the laughs. It's so good for the soul.

Theresa Rose said...

Thanks! I appreciate it. One of my spiritual teachers recently told me that humor is one of the most powerful medicines I can use to help others. I am glad it is working!

Take care, and make it a good one.