"We weren’t meant to live like this."
I just got back from a women’s spiritual retreat in Massachusettes. I stayed on my friend’s land, where I woke up to this incredible view. She has a home surrounded by trees, and forest, and a small lake with a whispering river. The top of the lake was just starting to crystallize with ice. The air was cold and fresh and slow. The days were quiet and intentional. We made fires in the evening and drank hot tea to keep us warm throughout the day. I could finally hear my own voice. I could feel my breath moving in my body and I felt a sense of peace and relief that I only feel when I find the space to slow down.
Since I got home, I’ve been reflecting on the energy and the buzz of American life right now, especially for us women. When I tap into the feeling, it seems like a hurricane. It feels like we are moving incredibly fast, hustling, driving around all day, trying to keep up with the pace of everyone else, striving to be the perfect wife, mom, and co-worker (or at least to create the illusion of being perfect). We feel the need to work out harder, get back to the body we had when we were 25 years old, and fit ourselves into an impossible mold. Our to-do list is too long, and our minds get caught in endless circles of should’s and have-to’s, constant judgments, and paralyzing fears. It’s hard to find space to simply be quiet and listen to our own voices.
What became crystal clear to me as I left that quiet lake and crisp air is:
WE WERE NOT MEANT TO LIVE LIKE THIS.
First of all, we are women, and a woman’s true essence is the opposite of this hurricane feeling. We are meant to be in the flow of the rhythms of nature. We are meant to follow our intuition, be sensitive and responsive to the calls of life, trust our inner voices, and nurture ourselves. Our bodies want to be curvy and soft and voluptuous. We are not meant to be perfect; our imperfections are what make us stunning. We are wise, powerful, and have a deep inner knowing that can cut through judgments and fear.
LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS HARD.
We’ve created a standard that is impossible to keep up with. We are so caught up in this hurricane that we think the antidote to this hardcore life is to go harder. Work more, exercise more, drive faster, say yes to more and more and more…
But what our bodies and hearts are screaming at us from underneath the noise and chaos is for us to
Slow down so we can actually hear our own voices. Slow down so we can feel our breath in our bodies, tap into our inner wisdom, and trust ourselves in middle of the hurricane. We need to slow down so our bodies can rest and restore, and we can move through life with clarity and ease.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SO HARD.
The antidote to this hardcore life is to carve out space to slow down, listen, feel what we need to feel, and to ultimately accept all of who we are. Only then can the hurricane stop.
This is what we do in The Practice. We go slow on purpose. We practice slowing down. We practice feeling instead of doing. We practice being quiet and making space for our body to breathe. We practice listening. We practice letting go. We practice so that all the noise and distraction can settle, if only for a moment.
And in that moment there is clarity. And breath. And release. And peace.
So, as we move into this holiday season, I want to invite you to carve out space to slow down. I have four recommendations that will help you turn the volume down…
- I am offering The Practice SLOW, a Pop-Up one-time class on Thursday, December 20th at 10am. This will be an opportunity to slow down and feel yourself before the holidays. This is also a great way to get a taste of the 10-week program starting in January. Details HERE.
- The Practice New Year’s Manifestation Retreat is happening on Sunday, December 30th. Escape for half of the day. We will sink into everything that has happened for you in 2018, the good, the wonderful, and that which you want to let go of. We will make space to manifest what we want for the new year. Details HERE.
- The Practice® 10-week in-person programs start up on January 14th. We have classes offered on Monday evenings, and Sunday and Thursday mornings. This is a combination of feminine yoga, sacred circle, and sisterhood. You remember who you truly are. Space is filling fast. Details HERE.
- The Practice® Online now offered. Join us for sisterhood, conversations, and sacred movement from where ever you are. Make your life at home sacred. Details HERE.
I hope you can join us. Email me with any questions. Sending you hugs.
Michelle Long, MA
Founder of The Practice®