Slow down & surrender to speed up! Do you watch others & wonder how they seem to get so much done & have it all together while you always feel frustrated that you can’t keep up?
Have you heard the phrase “slow down to speed up”? This counterintuitive and contradictory saying is foreign to many, one that can be a real challenge to adopt in this extremely fast-paced world!
Do you watch others and wonder how they seem to get soooo much done and seem to have it all together all.the.time? Do you end your days exhausted and frustrated because you feel like you’re struggling to keep up?
Here’s the secret: slow down and surrender to speed up!
It’s hard for me to even say this, becuz as much as I know the importance of slowing down intellectually, I do NOT truly know how to slow down in reality!
And mind you, my version of slowing down is quite different from most, in that, slowing down doesn’t necessarily mean that I will do 5 things instead of 10, or that it refers to the actual speed at which I do do those 10 things, but my definition of slowing down is not in the doing but it is in the being! It is a state of mind. I need to pay closer attention to my state of mind as I make my way through various tasks day in and day out. And no, that isn’t even as simple as just practicing mindfulness and ‘being present’ either. It is quite a complicated relationship that I have with ‘slowing down’ and I do not yet know how to put that in words.
But in short, my mind is always running at 1000 miles/hr (something I kinda took pride in, until recently that is). So unlike for most people, to me, slowing down is a sheer state of mind!
Hence, I have made it one of my mantras (motto) this year – Slow down, Surrender, and Let Go!
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Also, a little behind the scenes story —
Speaking of intellectually knowing something but the inability to internalize it, I first paid close attention to the phrase ‘what got me here won’t get me there’ when I was watching one of Rich Litvin’s videos last August. For those who do not know who Rich is, he is part of my life coaching world, and he’s one of the very best of the best out there!
While I do understand what the phrase means, I wasn’t at that time able to make sense of how that applied to me? And between the time I asked myself that question and December of last year, I came across several circumstances that kind of revealed to me how exactly and in what ways that phrase applied to me and my life.
BOOM, my mind was blown!
And a result of one of those revelations was —
Finding a balance between stretching and pushing myself to newer and newer heights and slowing down, surrendering, and letting go!
The first bit above, I got that in the bag, in fact, I’ve come to become a pro at it, it’s how I have done all that I have and gotten to where I am today, pushing past all the boundaries and overcoming all the hurdles that came my way all along…
And suddenly, BOOM, what got me here won’t get me there.
Brings me to the second bit above, I need to slow down, surrender, and let go!
And that was a staggering realization that I had in the second half of this past year.
While I do great with letting things go when it comes to certain aspects (also what has helped me be who I am today and get me here), I am also the worst at it when it comes to certain other aspects (which is exactly what won’t help me with who I want to be, and what will get in the way of where I want to go).
And the only way to let go is to surrender, for someone who is all about taking things into my own hands and making things happen, the act of surrendering (spiritually speaking, more below) at all times is certainly a challenge of a lifetime, one that I am taking on right now. Though I do believe in divine timing and trust that whatever happens happens for a reason, it is hard to come to terms with the very thing at all times.
And hence my mantra for the year!
Hope that made some sense to you, if not then it will, all in good time, for now, move right along to the next section…
Ok so now let’s talk about what slowing down to speed up means for the majority and why it is important to do so?
To be successful in slowing down to speed up you first need to change your beliefs. As humans, we are conditioned to be on the go all the time (guilty as charged). And that conditioning comes from the belief that in order to be happy we need to be successful. How often do you see marketing that depicts taking a step back, relaxing with a good book, or taking a long hot shower vs. being a go-getter, and always pushing yourself to use every minute of every day? Almost never (or it’s just another IG trend that is more of a pretense than reality).
Society has glorified the idea of always keeping ourselves overstretched and over busy which contributes to exceedingly high levels of burnout, and exhaustion (both physical and mental).
If you want to commit to slowing down to speed up, you need to change your beliefs around this way of thinking. Recognizing that taking a break and a step back is crucial when you truly want to make strides forward. Listening to your mind and body and giving it what it needs to function optimally is the first step in slowing down to speed up.
It is as simple as recharging yourself just as you do your electronics!
What good comes of it when you do a dozen different things only to feel completely drained by the end of it and not even have the energy to enjoy the fruits of all your efforts?
So, if slowing down is the key to living a more productive and successful life how do you make that shift? You need to start by developing a self-care routine that involves the below 11 aspects.
11 practical tips to slow down and surrender to speed up
1. Get a Restful Sleep
Most people go through life exhausted and running on little sleep and a lot of caffeine. Ongoing exhaustion leads to burnout, physical health issues, mental health issues, brain fog, irritability, and overwhelm just to name a few. When you’re constantly exhausted it will be next to impossible to take on a mindset shift like slowing down to speed up.
Commit yourself to getting a restful sleep each night. Set boundaries for yourself and hold yourself accountable. Boundaries may look like no technology after 8 pm, read for 30 minutes before bed, do yoga or meditate, have a warm shower…whatever works for you to relax your mind and body. When we fill every minute of our day from the moment we wake up right up until bedtime you sleep with an overactive mind that can’t settle down and truly rest.
2. Get Up With The Sun
Getting up with the sun may be difficult to get used to if you’re not a morning person but the peace and quiet of the early morning are well worth it. Those quiet hours are a great time to set your intentions for the day and make a mental checklist of the things you’re grateful for. The mornings are also a great time to work on goal setting or updating your goals, spiritual practices, and connecting with your soul’s purpose, which is exactly why I wake up around 4 am for the most part and practice quite an elaborate morning ritual. It allows me to set myself up for success and WIN the day!
Even if getting up with the sun is new for you, in time you will begin to love the peace and quiet that allows you to connect deeply with yourself (and the universe). By taking advantage of these quiet moments you may be surprised at the difference it makes in your life even in a short period of time.
Meditation allows you to create a better sense of self-awareness in all that you do. By developing your meditation skills, you will begin to see the benefits of becoming more self-aware in your life. By focusing on this, you’ll have the power to stay in the present moment in your life.
When you want happiness and success to be a priority in your life, you will need to commit to a daily mindfulness practice. By directing your attention onto yourself you will support your emotions, energy, mindset, and physical body and you will be more in control of keeping yourself centered and grounded to be present in each moment which in turn helps you connect more deeply to who you truly are and what is important to you at the core of your being.
4. Get Some Exercise
Exercise has proven benefits for both mental and physical health. Physically, regular exercise promotes good circulation, muscle development, fat loss and supports your heart and lung function just to name a few things. On the mental health side, a regular exercise routine will improve your mood, help combat depression, and can help decrease stress levels as well. If exercise hasn’t been at the top of your priority list, start slow, and create a realistic schedule for yourself. And if exercise has always been a priority, try increasing on what you already do each day.
If you’re stuck with not knowing where to start in establishing a routine, let’s chat about it! Yoga can be an excellent way to incorporate exercise into your routine and the best part is, yoga is extremely grounding and is for everyone regardless of skill level!
5. Get Outside
When was the last time you got outside and completely unplugged from technology and the hustle and bustle of life? How did you feel before and after? Spending time in nature looks different for everyone so find what works for you. It can be as simple as sitting on your porch, going for a walk through a park, or getting out to enjoy a sunset. There is so much beauty in nature and taking it all in can reset your energy levels and support a positive mindset shift. When you make being in nature a daily priority, you will enjoy the sense of calm it brings to your life.
6. Set SMART Goals
You may be asking yourself, ‘what the hell is a SMART goal?’ and it’s simple really. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Most people set their goals without giving them much thought and when they miss out on these details their goals will remain such that, goals. Read all about how to set SMART goals and why these 5 specifics are so essential to increase your success rate here.
7. Get Your Priorities Straight
We can’t achieve everything all at once and we need to be honest with ourselves about it. At any given time we all have multiple things we want to achieve. Take a look at your list and prioritize your goals based on importance and relevance and start at the top of your list. When you focus on one goal at a time you will be more efficient and effective in working towards it. Avoid making these mistakes.
8. Don’t Over Schedule
When you feel like you are all over the place it’s a clear indication of overscheduling. Take a look at your calendar and ALWAYS create a realistic schedule for yourself. If you typically can handle doing 3 tasks in a day, don’t start scheduling 5 for yourself. Focus on your 3, do them efficiently, and do them well. You will get more done over time with efficient scheduling than you will by over-scheduling yourself. Also, if you set SMART goals and have your priorities right then it is rare that you will run into over scheduling. See how it is all so interconnected.
9. Make Time To Reflect
Reflection helps us to take stock of our lives. Take a pause and analyze/evaluate where you are and all the efforts that you put in. By taking this deep dive, we can continue to learn what is truly important to us and how efficient and effective we are in all that we do. Reflection also helps us determine if where we are focusing our efforts is paying off allowing us to ensure that our time is spent wisely and efficiently. Continued learning is an important part of growing as a person.
10. Create Space To Do Nothing
Creating space in your calendar to simply do nothing is a must-do when you are trying to slow down so you can speed up. We all need downtime to relax, recharge, and unplug from everyday life. Taking the time you need to do nothing will improve your mental and physical health and ensures that you return clear-minded and more efficient when you return to all you need to do. And more importantly, it allows you to shake things up and get your creative juices flowing.
11. Surrender & Let Go
Sounds kind of scary right?! Trust me, you are NOT alone! As you read above, I myself am currently on that very path (to surrender and to let go) and know exactly how you feel.
Spiritually speaking, surrendering means letting go of everything. As Sacred Feminine Awakening explains – “In spiritual surrender, we give up our attachment to specific beliefs and desired outcomes; we let go of our preconceived ideas about how things should be and rest in the wisdom of a greater Divine knowledge. We stop attempting to figure things out for a while and we return to Source, allowing ourselves to be in complete service to the Divine Consciousness.”
Surrendering is surely a process that can take a really long time, sometimes several several years even, but given that I hear it is the ultimate state of being, the effort totally seems worth it!
We have to go through the process of letting our mindset shift, and letting go (a whooping list of 26 things to let go) of our emotional attachments in a healthy way by accepting our thoughts and feelings around those attachments. The goal of surrendering is to come to terms with not knowing and accepting that we cannot control everything.
Doesn’t it all sound so liberating and freeing!?
Surrendering is an interesting spiritual journey, to say the least. You may notice that your original goals change, or remain the same, however, it is a guarantee that you’ll have more awareness about yourself and more clarity around your goals, and increased trust in the process to achieve them, and a clearer sense of purpose.
If you have big goals for 2021 (I for one do, and I hope you do too, especially after the wake-up call that was 2020) then make it your priority to slow down and surrender to speed up, starting today, and you can thank me later!
Take the time to prioritize yourself and I bet that you will see an increase in your productivity, quality of life, and an overall improved work-life balance!
Need support to get on the right track? Book a complimentary breakthrough coaching call with me today!
“The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”