Someone told me that the average person, when asked how he/she is, answers with the singular word "busy." The sad thing is that no one questions this and assumes it is just the way things are. We have totally lost touch with the sacred ritual of taking time for ourselves for renewal. In fact, we seem to be rushing to relax. Wayne Muller, in Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest, says, "Our relentless emphasis on success and productivity has become a form of violence. We have lost the necessary rhythm of life, the balance between effort and rest, doing and not doing." This leads to exhaustion and a lack of creativity. When we have expended too much energy planning and trying to control our lives, we need to re-address the balance and find time for spontaneous creativity and the simple pleasures of life.
In business, when your idea isn't gaining enough traction or you're simply burned out, it is important to pivot and move to an alternative plan. In July, I was faced with this wall and made a decision to give myself a month of sacred time: time to meditate, time to rest, time to just "be." It was not an easy decision, since I am usually so focused on "moving my business to the next level," seeing what is next and creating new products. But my soul kept giving me messages that I needed to STOP and go inward, so I took some DEEP breaths and did just that. This is something I have been telling clients to do for years, but never seemed to find the time to do for myself! (Sound familiar?) So, I took a deep breath and set my email and phone messages to "away on sabbatical."
One of the first big realizations I came to was that I am totally addicted to the intensity of technology. It took a lot of time and self-discipline to unplug -- very uncomfortable, to say the least. However, a strange thing started to happen; I actually woke up earlier, and even did some sunrise meditations on the beach, where I reconnected with the teachings of one of my first spiritual teachers, Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, who taught about yoga of the sun. I exercised more, and found that I had more energy than I have had for years. I was actually sleeping less but felt more energized than before.
Then the magic began. My life is one degree of separation from Spirit on a normal day, but now it seemed as if I were in a waking dream. People appeared who had information that I needed, healers flocked to me as if I were a giant magnet and were compelled to reach out to me, and the world of nature gave me constant clues. I went to get my hair colored and the hairdresser offered me a Reiki healing session while I was waiting. I was invited to an amazing crystal bowl meditation at the Duncan Center in Delray Beach and even had the privilege of working with a fabulous healer, Philip Collins, in Ft. Lauderdale. Whatever I needed for nurture and support seemed to just appear. Then I remembered the invaluable advice of Lao Tzu...
Be content with what you have,
Rejoice in the way things are
When you realize there is nothing lacking
The whole world opens up to you.
What I was reminded by in this experience was how to drop back into the sacred rhythm of life. Some of the best techniques for this are to:
- Get up at least a half an hour earlier than normal
- Watch the sunrise at least once or twice a week
- Start the day off with gratitude
- Recite a morning prayer. My personal one is:
"Spirit Most High I love you and I open myself to receive your love
Spirit Friends I love you and I open myself up to receive your love
Barbara I love you and I open myself up to receive your love"
- Ignore your email and texts -- the world will still be there.
- Spend time in nature
- Notice what animals come into your presence and look up their meaning. (I was bitten by a jellyfish on the back, constantly saw large spiders and had an alligator cross my path on a main road.) The Animal Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams are a great resource to investigate further, as is the website.
- Take time and space for yourself to just be -- the universe does not need your constant focus
- Remember: You are a valuable person and need to be treated as one
- Let go of struggle and trust the universe to deliver to you all the things that are aligned with your highest good
- Learn to connect to your own inner wisdom
- Create art, enjoy music, dance and find your passion
- Expect the best and allow yourself the joy of being alive
For more by Barbara Biziou, click here.
For more on unplugging and recharging, click here.