Do you remember the amusement park ride where you stand against the wall of a cylindrical shaped room, and after the room starts spinning around at dizzying speeds, the floor drops out, leaving you plastered against the wall as the room continues to spin? Literally stuck spinning out of your own control without any solid ground to stand on.
Do you ever feel like certain moments of your life are a similarly dizzying, though hopefully a less dramatic and far less nauseating version of that ride?
Life can get really speedy sometimes. Whether you are facing a difficult decision, are in the middle of a challenging situation, find yourself in a time of struggle or maybe just have too many things to do and not enough time to do them in, there are moments when it can feel like life is pressing you up against the wall of a rapidly spinning room. We literally get spun up on the inside by everything that is occurring on the outside. In these moments, I like to do the following things to help slow it all down, to unwind the spin, allowing me to return to a much more grounded, calm, centered and enjoyable place.
1. Press the Pause Button. Set down whatever you are doing; especially if you are doing 72 things at one time. Whatever it is, lovingly set it down. Obviously, use common sense if you are driving a car or operating heavy machinery. But, if you find yourself getting all worked up while you are on the phone, kindly ask the person that you are talking to if you can call him/her back. If you are on the computer, just save everything that you are working on, and put the computer into sleep mode. The emails can wait. Facebook can definitely wait. If you can, go into a quiet room and close the door. Just for a few minutes, or moments even, just be in the quiet. You are never trapped by a to-do list or a litany of emails. The feeling that you are stuck in whatever it is that you are doing is an illusion. You are never stuck. You always have choices and you always have the power and the ability to just press the imaginary pause button until the spin slows.
2. Sit Yourself Down and Feel the Ground. Speedy moments can leave me feeling very ungrounded and unsteady, as if I am hovering above the earth, totally untethered and at risk of spinning out into some place that I’d rather not be. It is important to return yourself to a place where you feel rooted and connected, steady and uplifted. If you are able, sit down on the floor. I find a comfortable cross-legged position, like Sukhasana or Easy Pose, to work really well here. If sitting on the floor is not a possibility, then just find somewhere to sit. And, really sit down. Notice that you are sitting and in that noticing allow yourself to feel totally and completely grounded, fully supported by the earth. Remind yourself that the earth is beneath you, that you are connected to it directly, maybe experiencing the sensation of actually being held by the earth. Close your eyes and return to a place of steadiness.
3. Do a Body Check. The body responds in many ways to moments of tension and struggle. Do a scan of your body to see if there are any places that you are tightening, gripping or holding. See if you can soften in those places, letting go of any accumulated stress or tension.