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Urgency and stillness

Updated: Jul 20




Hello yoga friends! We made it through to another week! This weekend's Yoga for Busy Hands class was such a delight, thank you to all who attended. For anyone who missed it, I'll be teaching it again in August. Keep an eye on this newsletter and on Instagram for class dates! I've been thinking a lot lately about urgency. In the tech industry (my former place of work for the last decade), urgency is treated as a value. Getting things out the door as quickly as possible is a measure of success. Then wipe off your hands and move on to the next novel gimmick or update. A well-known social network's internal motto used to be "Move fast and break things." Perhaps it's not just a tech industry thing - it may be an American thing, a grind culture thing, or a patriarchal white supremacist capitalism thing (or all of the above). Whatever the cause, and whatever the industry, it feels to me like there is no space or consideration for slow and steady, for quality over quantity, for long-term sustainability over rapid growth. The goal instead is short, consumable spikes in profit, users, and consumer interest. Apps disguised as meaningful products are in reality just pop-up notifications pleading for your attention and validation and money, all to keep those spikes going up and up indefinitely, to benefit an increasingly smaller group of people. Why is this worth pausing to think about? Because we often treat our lives and bodies as if they are products we are pushing. We tell ourselves we must constantly be doing, gaining, creating, consuming, moving, producing, working, and doing it all as quickly as possible. And the outcome of this frenetically-paced mass production is the means by which we measure our own worth. But in the process, what we are measuring (ourselves) becomes less and less happy, healthy, and fulfilled. (And by "we" I mean "me," but I've had a version of this conversation with enough people, particularly women in tech, that I believe it is more universal than we all individually are aware of.) In the book Do Less by Kate Northrup - which I found a little too woo for me but does contain some gems - the author says: "Yet we ask our bodies to be in production mode all the time. Yes, we are more than our bodies, but our days and what’s possible energetically are governed by the fact that we each live in a body. We are animals. We are nature. Yet we live and work as though we’re not. We ask for perpetual production, and yet this is impossible. When a seed is planted, it takes time, care, and resources before it sprouts and grows to its fullest expression. As humans, our creative process is no different, yet we’ve forgotten that we need time, care, and space to not only do our best work but also to show up as our best selves. When you continue to plan the same crop in a field over and over again without ever giving it a break, the crops suffer as the soil degrades; eventually there is no harvest. … Focus on quantity and growth above quality and sustainability leaves the soil depleted." In such a busy, fast-paced world, how do we change our course to focus on quality and sustainability? How do we not rush things and 'maximize' our time? How do we feel proud of what we do AND who we are? Breath. Relax. Feel. Watch. Allow. Stop. Take a breath. Inhale oxygen in through the nose to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and calm the heart. Breathe into the soles of the feet to remind yourself that you are grounded, you are on this earth, you are whole. You don't need anything you don't already have. As you slowly exhale out of the nose, let the forehead, the jaw, and the shoulders relax. Let go of any holding in the belly. Bring the gaze away from the screen. Maybe close the eyes. Use the breath to guide your attention to any places of tension in the body, and see if you can soften a little bit more. Relaxed and nourished, step into the feelings, without trying to change them. If it's uncomfortable, practice being okay with the discomfort, and being curious about it. Ask yourself, what am I feeling, versus what stories am I telling about what I'm feeling? Don't think about it, feel about it. Listen. Don't rush it. Feel before you know. Watch from that place of curiosity. Observe any physical changes. Notice any emotional upwellings. Note where things seem out of sync with the feeling and the story. Practice holding both the bigger picture - that you are loved, whole, infinite, enough - and the smaller picture that is right in front of you. Be patient. Allow it all, holding sacred space for it, as long as it needs. Only you know how long you need. With enough space, the feelings have room to just be, to be named, to float on, to dissipate, to ease their potency. Let the breath continue to ground you as you explore and learn their names, their shapes, their colors.  From this still, unrushed place, we can make decisions that are aligned with our values, to notice what we want to grow and change, or be grateful and content with our choices just as they are. Curiosity, courage, compassion and love do not increase in quality based on their speed. But in taking time to slow down, we can increase our capacity for them to thrive and grow to their fullest expression. Love and gratitude, Megan

Some things that I've found helpful to feed, recharge, replenish me:




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