Whose Hurry Is More Important?

To get to my home, there is a light you must go through from under a freeway bridge, where the two lanes merge into one as it takes you through the dark and narrow windy road.

I was on that road tonight, coming to the bridge where I knew the light would be green, as it always is at night. Among the two lanes, I was in the left lane and the van in front of me was going slow enough, I could have passed it from the right lane if I wanted to, barely cutting it close to the merging part of the lane….

Instead, I took my foot off the gas pedal and chose to stay behind the van. After all, passing them would only save me, what? One entire minute out of the ten minutes I had left of my journey?

It got me asking myself, “Am I really in that big of a hurry? How does everybody’s hurry compare to the next person’s rush? Who actually has the bigger rush and what are we willing to sacrifice just to get somewhere we all have to be?”


photo credit: Susan Henderson

Physiologically, the act of rushing ourselves increases our stress levels and dilates our blood vessels, which puts us into sensory overload, giving us the ‘Fight or Flight’ syndrome. With that much adrenaline in that short amount of time, our thoughts become irrational and our mood plummets entirely and we enter a state of selfish, primal instinct. That kind of mindset, if you are in a car, can put somebody in severe danger if you aren’t the kind of person who handles stress or impatience well. Are you willing to sacrifice that person’s life as well as yours by causing a car accident because you’re going way over the speed limit and driving recklessly?

Are you in such a hurry to get out of the coffee shop or the gas station to beat the morning traffic that you can’t seem to pause for the extra five seconds to hold the door open for someone else coming in or out?

Do you notice how sometimes, the more you are stressed about making it to your destination “with just not enough time” actually causes more roadblocks in your way? At this point, you must ask yourself, “Is my stress about being in a hurry going to get me to my destination safely and any faster than I would be getting there even if I was calm and possibly still in a hurry?”

If you don’t want to be in a hurry – get your day started earlier. It’s that simple.
And if you’re going to be in a hurry – don’t try, but do cultivate a sense of patience and put it to use. If you don’t want to get up any earlier and you want to always leave at the same time, and you’ve accepted the fact that maybe you’re just comfortable being in a hurry – then why are you still letting it stress you out to the point of dangerous, threatening, irrational, and illogical anger?
Wouldn’t you be your better self if you just accepted the fact that you are going to be in a hurry and make the journey fun for yourself anyway?

I sing loudly and dance freely in my car to my radio. Yeah, I’m that guy”. I think I am THE American Idol when I am driving. I used to have massive road rage and cuss up a storm when I would hit traffic and road blocks, but I find the more I accept that the World will be the World, I turn my radio up and I sing my heart out and I allow myself to laugh – at anything. If I get frustrated, I laugh at how ridiculous it is if I let myself get upset over something I can’t control, which is actually pretty funny if you think about it. Are you actually getting upset due to something personally affecting your emotions on a deep level or are you just upset because you can’t control the way you’re reacting to the events outside of your own life and reality?

My suggestion: figure out what works best for you and start doing it immediately. And the next time you are in a hurry to get somewhere; determine the length of your rush and how much more important it is than everyone else’s. Then ask yourself how many other people around you at the moment in time are probably in their own form of hurry also. Do you think your rush is more important than theirs? Do they think their rush is more important than yours?

The best part of this all, is when you take a big deep breath and succumb to the realization that nobody’s rush is more important than anyone else’s, you will exhale and understand you’re not really in a hurry at all. You will get to wherever you have to be when you get there. And if you have a feeling you may be in rush the next morning, you’ll develop a deep love for morning sunrises.

Goodnight y’all.

Deep Breathing Challenge – Day #30

I didn’t give an update for my last two weeks, because I didn’t really have one. I have noticed a lot in my first two weeks of this challenge and there are also some realizations I have accepted through the process. It’s been a deep growth period for me and one I have truly enjoyed to the fullest.

I no longer get lightheaded,

when I deep breathe for yoga or meditation. Now that my body is used to spending, roughly half, of the time deep breathing naturally, it is better able to accommodate those activities where deep breathing is involved.


 

I can run farther, faster.

My strides are long as if I’m seven inches taller. My body takes off and flies through the scenery. Coming from a hometown in high altitude and thin air, it was already one thing to experience such thickness in the air here; being so close to sea level. Deep breathing has given me back my power to match my breathing to the environment. I used to compensate my breathing when I ran here, unsure of how exactly to measure my breaths. Sometimes I would breathe a lot of faster and sometimes just a little too shallow. I now understand the rhythm and flow to serve my body the best functioning for runs, jogs, and now… hikes!


I’ve stopped craving junk food as often.  

It was cookies every single night, chocolate of some sort every day, skipping meals and craving chocolate of any kind. Milk, carbs for all three meals, late night snacks, decrease in activity. The sluggish feeling became overwhelming. The clear thinking I have had from deeply breathing has not only filtered out unnecessary thoughts and slowed down my pace of speech, but it has given me clear and concise communication with the part of my brain that tells me when I am hungry and/or thirsty and what nutrients I actually need to fuel my body. I am listening intently as I gather what I need. The bag of Cadbury eggs in my fridge are not being touched [as often] as I thought they would be. They may just last until Winter…. don’t worry about the amount I bought. That’s not of importance. Fruits and veggies and water are once again, the biggest part of my diet. I crave cherries like I craved cookies. My breaths allow me to really feel my lungs expand and my heart beat at an appropriate rate. I feel the beating getting stronger everyday. My own heart is regaining it’s strength due to my breaths lengthening, inhibiting my mind to decide accurately what it is I need to put in my body to make this function last.


 

I have learned and accepted, that I can’t breathe deeply every single breath of every single moment of every day, but I can come back to deep breathing when I have stopped doing whatever it is that takes the focus of mind.

Such as conversations, being in the moment with friends, laughing, watching suspenseful movies, and even sleeping. Educating clients, reading a book. There are some things I do, where I just don’t think about my breathing. Although my breathing is no longer shallow like it used to naturally be, it is not as naturally deep as I had hoped. Although, can every breath be naturally so deep, comparable to meditation? Would we then be focused so hard on breathing that we actually get pulled away from being in the moment? That aspect was never my goal. Although, because I have spent every possible moment in these last thirty days, giving attention to my breath, I have learned that I am now spending half my time awake giving an in depth rise and fall of my rib cage, full expansion to my diaphragm, and a piece of mind to my body. I am less toxic on a cellular level, which in turn frees my mind, endocrine system, and skin of toxicity.

When I am engaged in something active, whether it be a soccer game, conversing with workmates and friends, indulged in books and movies, or exercising, although my breath is not actively opening up as when I am focused, it is opening much, much more, than it used to. My natural breath is now three times deeper than it used to be. I am calmer as a person in all aspects of my life. I am more confident without having nonsensical anxiety and worrisome thoughts. I take the time in all I do. I no longer rush my days. I no longer stir my brew of self-sabotage mixed with ingredients of time, fear, attention, and perfection.

 

This challenge has been one to remember forever. It has undoubtedly, answered the questions I could never have answered for me. It has forced me to look within not with shame, but acceptance and patience. It has allowed me to conquer aspects of myself I feared I would never be able to do. It has taught me that nothing about ourselves is permanent and we can improve our spirits in anyway we seem fit; all we have to do is commit.

I am twenty four mortal years old and am learning things I have not learned in all the others years my soul has walked this Earth. It’s humbling, it’s enlightening, and it’s moving. Thank you for allowing me to share this 30 day challenge experience with you. As always, I encourage you to venture on a 30 day challenge of your own! Big or small, physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental – challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is one of the best experiences we can give ourselves. We thrive, we grow, and even surprise ourselves along the way.

We are all strong and wonderful.
Challenge yourself, today.

Deep Breathing Challenge, Day #14

It is Day 14 now: 

I am two weeks into my commitment to deep breathing for thirty full days. As you know, I took on this challenge to see if anything would positively impact my way of life. So far, I have yawned a whole bunch, my chronic hiccups have diminished, my Intercostals have been working out the knots in the muscles on their own, I have successfully gained control of my vocal pace, volume, thought output, and I have sweat a whole ton of toxins out of my body.

1. Sleeping

I would be lying if I said that I was good enough to consciously deep breathe while sleeping, and because I am already a vivid, tuned in, and lucid dreamer; I can’t really say that I am taking up awareness to my breathing depending on what I am dreaming about. I still twitch and move in my sleep, as well as make some weird faces. Sometimes I still wake up in a pool of sweat or my beau will hear me moaning and groaning like I’m having a deep conversation in my dreaming world, but what I have noticed about sleeping from my deep breathing is the length of time it takes me to go to sleep. It doesn’t take long. I have slept deep and thorough. Sometimes, too thorough to the point where I could and would spend all day sleeping if I didn’t have to get up for work and let me tell you, it feels soooo good when I wake up! Last night, I fell asleep watching a movie with Danny and woke up at 10:30pm telling him I was just preparing to take Zai out and feed her breakfast before I get ready for work. Realizing what time it really was, I was elated knowing that a) it was still nighttime and b) I could go back to sleep and finish enjoying the dream I had woken up from. The two hours I had slept had given me such deep and purified energy that I was ready for the day to begin, BEFORE IT EVEN HIT MIDNIGHT!! Everytime I fall asleep, I sleep deep. That’s not unusual for me. But the length of time it usually takes for me to fall asleep is almost an hour, if not more than that.

I have a weakness for insomnia. And when I am deep breathing all evening and after mindfully chewing my food and mindfully taking my dog out for her nighttime potty, I get to mindfully lay in bed and put my waking day to rest for seven hours of restful sleep.

2. Calm, Cool, and Collected

Now, before I get started – this isn’t to say that I don’t ever get mad about something I feel is an important conversation. Last Tuesday night, I lost my cool, completely. I was very passionate about my side of opinion on a touchy subject. I defended my end with no apologies. I cried a lot, and it took a couple days of almost complete silence, zero appetite for food, and no physical touching, for me to decide where exactly it was that I fit in this whole scheme of things. That being said, I unleashed every dark side of me. I had a “now or never” moment and knew that it was either then I would forgive every piece of my past, every mental and emotional fear I have, and everything I’ve ever held in; or I would sit with it forever, allowing the person I loved the most to never get a genuine chance to see why I lived the way I did and why certain things affect me as they do. The scariest part of being with someone is showing them every beautiful, whimsical, terrifying, ugly, wonderful, brave, and courageous piece of you.

Deep breathing has given me a chance prior and post that experience, to remain so calm, that Danny has asked me multiple times, if I am okay. Since I’m not talking fast and I’m not speaking loudly, and I’m not talking about every tiny insignificant detail on my mind, I am sitting with my thoughts (which, deep breath after another, seem to be little thanks to the natural filtering process my instincts have taken on). When I speak, it’s with the intention to have conversation or to communicate with meaning; instead of talking to hear the sound of my voice.

Being calm has given me a better understanding on the World and myself. Things that make shake my head that I have done in the past and hopeful reactions I will have in the future. My eyes have been opened to something so special. My life has been so full of loud noises, chaotic moments, for so long and it hasn’t been until these last 4 years of awakening and learning zen, peace, and meditation, that I have really honed myself in myself. 

Utilizing my newfound state of my mind, I am appreciating the observant side in myself. Talking less has given me the peace to be quiet. It has given me the respect and appreciation of what it means to be quiet. Not having an opinion on every bit of thing is freeing! I never knew it could be that way. Not sharing my experiences or memories when someone is trying to genuinely share something great about their lives is joyful and exciting and an eye opener. Realizing how rude I’ve probably been for so long. It’s enlightening and a beautiful change to accept from within. To listen is a beautiful gift. I don’t just know this now, but I truly appreciate this now. 
I hope you all have enjoyed my update for this week. Peace be with all of you!

You Are What You Make It.

Standing inside Carrefour and waiting for Mindy to
finish checking out, I  find an
unusual
state of calmness.

With the Sounds of cash registers Beeping
& people chattering a language I don’t fully
understand,
I find my World coming to a s t a n d s t i l l.

Every single thing comes to a pause
& my view becomes s l o w m o t i o n .
I hear every word as it comes.
I define which beep belongs to which machine.

I feel invisible. I feel synchronized. I feel elapsed in time.
Like I don’t know if I am dreaming or not.

Am I high?
Sometimes, I just wanna be.
Sometimes it would make more sense if I were.
So for now, I’ll just take this moment.
THIS “HIGH LIFE” HIT.