When my sister-in-law crossed over to the other side of the veil, I reflected on a phenomena that happens for me when loved ones die. When someone I care about crosses over to the other side, I can’t help but slow down my life and reflect about what is really, really important to me.
When I was in my worst chronic pain and discomfort, I discovered exactly the same thing. I needed to slow down enough to reflect on what was truly important to me and let the rest go, because quite frankly, the “rest” was either making me sick or contributing to it.
Why we are afraid to slow down
While I was visiting friends back home, a woman I know that just had major surgery said exactly the same thing. Before she had her surgery, she ended the contract work she was doing that was draining her energy. She just didn’t want to do work that didn’t fulfill her anymore. She knew that she needed to focus on healing and then make some decisions about work that would feed her spiritually as well as physically.
It is so easy to stick with work just because it pays the bills, even though it is not truly our work to do. You can identify that kind of work because you go to work and come home from it more exhausted than energized.
It is so much easier to maintain status quo than it is to make peace with friends and family, find time to meditate, or enjoy time with others. It is easier to stay in relationships that are familiar, but aren’t working for you because it is scarier to heal or leave them. It is easier to repeat non-productive patterns than it is to make change, yet those very patterns may be shortening your life.
Every time you say “yes” to what is stripping your energy, you drain your reserves for healing.
As long you continue in patterns that are stripping you of your energy, you don’t have the reserves to get well.
By focusing on what is truly important in your life, you become more selective in your choices. You get clearer about what to say “yes” to and when to respond with a “no.” You discover reserves of energy you didn’t even know where available to you.
In my book, The Root of All Healing: 7 Steps to Healing Anything, I explore other benefits to slowing down, including discovering what is truly important to you. Ironically, slowing down is a significant key to speeding up your healing.
Discovering where your energy is going
Here’s a simple “Slowing Down” exercise for evaluating what is giving or taking energy from you. Take out a piece of paper and draw four columns. At the head of the first column write “Major Activities”. At the head of the second column, write “Gives energy. In the third column write, “Neutral,” and at the head of the last column write, “Drains Energy.
In the first column list the major activities in your day. After each activity put a check in the column that best correlates with that activity. For example, if going for a walk is one of my major activities, I would personally put a check mark in the column for “Gives Energy” because taking a walk is a fabulous way for me to recharge my battery.
One of my other activities might include “Cleaning the Bathroom.” I’d have to honestly put a check mark in the column that says “Drains Energy”. That means either I need to create a new relationship with cleaning the bathroom or I need to hire someone to do it.
As you go through your list and check off your items as “Gives Energy,” “Neutral,” or “Drains Energy,” notice where and how you need to be saying “yes” or “no” more often in order to gain greater energy in your life.
In slowing down to notice where your energy is going, what did you discover? What gives you energy in your self healing journey?