During meditation once, I saw myself running down a dirt road in a flat, farm like landscape. This is a real visualization I had. But the place was unfamiliar to me. Dusty roads. Country houses. Lots of space. Hot, dry, brown, and white. I was running so fast down this dirt road, in a white cotton dress, that I was creating a windstorm of dust and debris around me. I was kicking up all sorts of light brown dirt from the road and it made a cloud at my feet. In fact, I was running so fast that my feet weren’t even touching the ground. I was like the cartoon character, Road Runner, with his legs spinning so fast that they are a blur above the ground. I was fast. Real fast.

In the debris kicked up around me were papers, and tasks, and events, and to do’s, and meetings, and worries, and things to do. Some of these things were great accomplishments. Some were things I told myself I had to do. Some were things I was doing because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, because I was not enough. And as I sped down the road there were things I was trying to reach: friends, life events, memories, opportunities, time with family. As I sped by each one, I extended my arms desperately in an attempt to grab it. I tried to grasp it in my hands and experience it, to bring it in toward me, to feel it, to embrace it. And I couldn’t. One after another they sped past me as I fiercely attempted to reach out. Not only did each thing speed past me, but if I did manage to get a hand on it, it hurt. Have you ever put your hand out the window of a speeding car, boat, or ride and had a bug or something else hit it? It hurts when you get hit while going that fast. Even little things hurt when you go that fast.

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

-Eddie Cantor

In this visualization, wearing that white cotton dress and sprinting down a dusty road, I started to panic. I was afraid to stop. I thought that if I stopped I would fall back to earth and crash. But I didn’t feel like I could keep this up much longer. And, I was missing out on the things passing by me. Things I wanted to experience and feel. I was feeling left out of my own life. I tried to flail my arms to stop myself. I tried to dig in my heels. I decided to S L O W  D O W N. {Speaking of slowing down and acknowledging your surroundings, I am able to bring you these wonderful pictures thanks to Parfait and the beautiful set I am wearing from them.} In the visualization, this felt like I was suddenly in slow motion, but really I was just moving at the real pace of life. At first, it felt heavy, almost too slow, almost like molasses.Kimmay wears Parfait bra and panty with a lace shirt from Free People in the new Hurray Kimmay blog.But then I looked down and saw my bare feet actually touching the ground. I could feel the dirt in my toes and feel the full weight of my body on the earth. I could feel the subtle wind tickle my skin. I let the sunshine soak into my being. I walked slowly, feeling each step, as I looked around me and saw those opportunities and people and memories and time with family. I could actually see them now. They were not a blur. And I could walk up to them, and hold them, and experience them. It felt so different. It felt like I wasn’t alone in this desolate dirt road, running to save my life. It felt like I was living my life, one step at a time.

This may have been a visualization during a time of meditation but it hit me with some hard truth. My heart had been telling me this lesson for a long time. I think I needed to hear it over and over again. I heard it from one of my coaches, when she said, “you can slow down to speed up”. And from my body, when it would get sick with things that would stop me in my tracks (vertigo, shingles twice, other sicknesses). And from my intuition. All the time. “Slow down”, my inner voice would whisper. “Stop hurrying and worrying and take life one step at a time. You are doing enough. You are enough. Slow down and experience this moment right now in its fullness.”Kimmay wears Parfait bra and panty in Hurry to Hurray blog

Here is what slowing down can do for you:

  • It allows you to feel all the feelings, not just those you have time for.
  • You can listen. To your body, to your intuition, to your truth.
  • You can fully experience the present moment. Savor it, drink it in, and luxuriate in it.
  • You’ll be able to see things more clearly, instead of a blur.
  • Self care can become part of your regular routine, not just something you do because you’re in desperate need of a break.
  • You can prioritize the experiences and people and things you really want to spend time on.
  • You can truly get to know yourself and your own desires instead of just trying to keep up with the should’s and have to’s.
  • You’ll feel more grounded, centered, and connected.
  • You can allow circumstances to unfold naturally instead of chasing after them and forcing things.
  • You can get to the solution faster. This may seem counter-intuitive, but because of all of the reasons above, slowing down can help you speed up.
  • You can enjoy life when you go from hurry to hurray.

Good things happen when there’s no hurry. Trees and plants grow slowly. Slow roasted foods are delicious. The seasons take their time. Humans take 9+ months to gestate. Like, slow it down already. Going slow is worth it.

So I’ll be honest (like always) and tell you that I am still actively working on this. You may be surprised when I tell you that as busy as I appear to be now (I travel every other month, I work my booty off on amazing projects, I am on TV and in the press, I spend one on one time with coaching clients, etc.) I am much slower than before. The hustle I felt in the past came from that deep seeded story of, “Kimmay you’re not enough. You’re not doing enough. You need to do more, be more, produce more, work harder, go faster in order to prove that you are really doing it”. I was rushing, and running, and striving. I was numbing myself to feelings because I was too busy to feel them. I was hurrying. Now, even though I’m busy, I’m hurray-ing. I’m practicing slowing down on a regular basis in big and small ways every single day. Want to try slowing down and hurray-ing with me? Here are a few ways to practice it.Kimmay dances in Parfait lingerie in the new Hurray Kimmay blog

10 Ways to Slow Down and Say Hurray Inside, Outside, and Underneathâ„¢

Choose one or more of the ideas below and try it on for size. Test it out. Practice this often. See what happens. Or make up your own. Whatever you do, try something out with a big dose of love and compassion, never out of should. Ask what will really serve you. Ask what will lead you to true hurray.

Eat slower. How many times have you rushed through a meal or eaten on the go? In this experiment, I suggest that you plate your food (on a real plate!) and pour a drink, and sit down with real utensils, and savor the meal. Savor every flavor. Take in the aromas. Fully chew everything. Slowly sip your drink. Take notice of where the food came from. Give thanks for its nourishment. This will not only help you enjoy the meal, it will also aid in digestion! Bonus idea: take your time preparing the meal yourself, too!

Breathe slowly. When you feel like your emotions or mind are running wild, the best thing to do right away is to breathe deeeeeply. In for four slow counts, out for four S L O W counts. With each breath in, expand and send healing breath to a part of the body or soul that needs it. And with each breath out invite a new part of the body to release and relax. Let go of tension and judgement and shoulds. You can even use the Calm app’s breathing ring (the mobile app has more options but this desktop version is fab, too.)

Go on vacay. OK before you skim through this one, this is something you can do anytime, and anywhere. For real. Whether you have 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 weeks – you can embrace what it’s like to be on vacation when you take a #HurrayVacay. (That’s my fancy word for it.) And since one of the most popular things to do on vacation is slowing down, you can choose to practice slowing down during your #HurrayVacay. Invite it in. See what I mean over on the #HurrayVacay post.

Have slow sex. Kiss slowly. Stop time. Look each other in the eyes. Linger on your partner’s skin and scent. Feel it all. Let it build. Make it a slow burn. (Bonus idea: practice this with a partner or solo.)

Meditate. This is my favorite way to slow down. It usually has the most immediate relief. And it’s what I reach for first when I tell myself, “I don’t have time to meditate.” That’s when I need it the most. When my thoughts are racing and I’m doing doing doing. I slow down my thoughts and use my breath and clear my mind. I use this silence to relax, prayer, ask for guidance, listen, be.

Have Kim lead you from Hurry to Hurray in the new Hurray Kimmay blog, Kimmay is wearing Parfait lingerie

Forgive. When our minds speed up the stories start. The misunderstandings rise on up, and tell you all sorts of things. “You’re not enough. You aren’t doing enough. You aren’t doing it right. You could fail. You will be embarrassed. They won’t like it.” Oooooh goodness. Hurrying only gives those stories momentum. Slow it down. Go in deep and identify the misunderstanding. Then forgive yourself for the judgement or misunderstanding. This creates space for the truth to reveal itself. And listening to the truth – not those stories – is a very hurray way to be. This is a big part of the coaching that I have learned and share with my clients, and I encourage you to read my post on this and use my audio recording to give it a go. It’s powerful stuff.

Create space in your calendar. Oooooh this one gets me. I often jam pack my calendar with loads of stuff to do in the day. It takes real intention for me to create space between commitments. In fact, it takes a commitment to myself to create space in the calendar. It means I have to remind myself to make space to take those slow, deliberate steps instead of rushing down the dirt road. “Don’t over commit”, I tell myself. “Leave room for magic, and creativity, and joy.” The time in between the events in your planner are for living and allowing life, with your feet on the ground.

Yoga. This practice is really fab for flowing. And for slowing down your body, breath, and mind. Depending on the type of yoga you practice, too, some are slower than others. If I’m being really honest (and I always am), when I was in my most hurried days, the first form of yoga I tried was a very slow, precise form. I was – and I mean this in many ways – uncomfortable. The stillness made me anxious. It was so out of my typical way of being that it felt like slow motion, and molasses. It felt strange. I gave up and didn’t return to yoga until years later when I was having panic attacks at least twice a week. By then, I was desperate for slowing down. And I know now, that had I leaned into the discomfort early on and felt my feet on the ground, I could have started the slowing down process earlier and embraced the deep breaths and sweet hurray.

Soak it all in. This you can practice at any time. Pick up your head and take a look around. Use all of your senses and notice. Pay particular attention to how you feel, emotionally and physically. Ask your body and your heart how it’s going. Soak in this precious moment and everything that comes with it. You can even set a timer to go off every now and then to practice mindfulness and take in your surroundings. Or you can incorporate it into your commute or walk to work. Find small ways to soak in what is happening inside, outside, and underneath.

Remember it’s all perfect timing. One of the reasons that we hurry is because there’s a fear that there’s not enough time, or we have to do more in order to be more. That’s why “Hurry! Sale ends soon!” or “Don’t miss out, you better hurry!” gets us all the time. Because we are afraid that we’ll miss our chance, or that there won’t be enough time to get it all done, or to become the version of ourselves we’re hoping we can be in the final moments of the clock counting down. We lack patience because we don’t trust that it’s all working out, and we want to prove that it’s all working out right now. Take some breaths and slow down here. Because the truth is that everything is unfolding in perfect timing. Repeat after me: I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I don’t have to rush the process. I can take it one step at a time. It’s all unfolding in perfect, divine timing.

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Your Turn: How can you practice slowing down? In what ways has slowing down served you? What do you find difficult or beneficial about slowing down? Share here by leaving a comment!

Credits: The images in this blog post are by Becky Yee during the #HurrayVacay in Hawaii. I’m wearing the Parfait Sandrine longline bra and matching panty in a 32DD and Medium {more over on my The Beauty of Imperfection blog post} with a lace shirt from Free People. As in all blog posts and images, there is zero airbrushing of my body. I’m soaking in the goodness of real life, and that includes my body just as it is.