Do you ever feel like you have so many things on the go at once that it becomes overwhelming to make sure that you’re giving enough attention to anything? For you it might be things like school/work, skating, social time, and other activities. For me, it’s my performance coaching, on-ice coaching, planning my yoga teacher certification, my work with FSF magazine, and skating for myself. Honestly, I LOVE it all! However, I sometimes feel like I have so little time to fit everything in. So, I try to cram as many tasks into the smallest amount of time possible—to the point where I feel like I’m just constantly running while worried about whether I’m on track and if I’m doing enough. Ironically, this will bring about the most limiting, yet incredibly common, ailment and setback. You might’ve guessed it: STRESS.
This past month I was practically hit in the head (actually!) with a lesson to SLOW DOWN. And of course, once I did so, I became way more efficient, relaxed, content, and effective. After a few fateful events and two amazing books, I was finally reminded how to maintain calmness and trust in what I’m doing.
Here are just two (out of numerous) examples of how rushing through my days and tasks pretty much got me nowhere or, in some cases, even set me back:
1. I made the WORST mistake a figure skater can make. I got my skates sharpened by a non-figure skate pro. I know... WHAAATTT! WHYYY would I do that!! ...In my defence, the sharpener was recommended by other coaches - but only as a sharpening for coaches; meaning they are not training and using their edges the same way that competitive or show skaters would. Anyway, I did it. And then I skated in them... and slipped BADLY off my non-edge. Had I not been skating pairs, with a partner to catch me, I probably would have fallen face to the ice. So, lesson learned. Honestly, I knew better so I was quite irritated with myself, to say the least. And if I had been in tune with my gut and listened to my instincts I would not have made this choice. It just seemed so much easier at the time because it would have (had it worked) saved me a lot of time to get them done here… I shamefully brought them back to my trusted skate technician, Dave, at The Figure Skating Boutique and he fixed them. There isn't much life left on them now from re-shaping them back to their original form so I will have to buy new ones.
2. I purchased a wonderful essential oil blend (“protective blend”) to help myself in being pro-active to prevent colds and flu that I quite easily pick up during the winter, especially because I work with so many kids while coaching skating. This oil is so awesome; it contains orange oil, clove bud oil, cinnamon bark oil, eucalyptus oil, and rosemary oil. I started putting one drop under my tongue everyday and lo and behold, I was healthy again and stayed that way while others around me were getting sick. Then, as I became so consumed in my to-do list and in a constant hurry to check everything off everyday, I lost this essential oil. I looked everywhere for it day after day. I couldn’t find it! I was upset and continued frantically searching at least once a day over the period of a month. Inevitably, I got sick again.
After these particular events, I knew I needed to give myself a break and I needed something to help me feel grounded. I purchased two books: The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein, and in audiobook format, Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic by Mike Dooley.
Both of these books reminded me, and drove the point home, that when I’m hustling and trying to force my way through the world, that’s when I’m stuck. I’m disconnected from my power. But when I slow down, listen and notice what’s around and within me, I am free.
As soon as I slowed down, I found that essential oil bottle that I had lost. I found it in a cabinet that—I kid you not—I had opened at least a dozen times during the period that it was lost. I was so focused on all my tasks and getting everything done so quickly that I couldn’t see this seemingly lost object that was literally right in front of my eyes!
Slowing down allows me to be present, which allows me to become totally engaged in the project, task, or job that I’m involved with in the moment. And not worried about getting it done quickly and moving on to the next task, just being with it completely. Essentially, this is when the magic happens; when the best ideas show up, when I get more done, and when I discover more opportunity. And that’s also when I am most joyful, calm and effective. That’s when I soar.