Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Speed Racer

Okay, it’s confession time. Everyone has a dirty little secret. Today I’m admitting mine. I’m fast. Now, before you go and start lining me up some hot dates for the next few Saturday nights, let me explain. What I mean is: I speed. And I’ve got the fines, points on my driver’s license and extra surcharge on my car insurance to back up my statement.

It started about eight years ago when I began weekending in upstate New York. My 15 years in Manhattan certainly had me attempting to race around via subway, taxi and on foot. All that really got me was stressed out. I didn’t have a chance to really earn my speeding chops until the first few jaunts up and down the Taconic State Parkway. The speed limit on that highway is 55 miles an hour. In Queens and Long Island, NY--where I put many a mile on my initial driving career,-- 55 means 70 miles an hour and that is just that. It honestly took me about five or so tickets (two actually within 24 hours of each other) to learn:

A) 55 miles an hour means not quite 65 miles an hour on the Taconic State Parkway in New York State and that is just that.

B) There is a button on my car that activates something called cruise control and I needed to learn how to use it.

C) When I wasn’t present and operated, instead, on my own “automatic pilot” (yeah, yeah…my own cruise control….) I would speed and it, got me nowhere pretty darn fast.

If you haven’t already guessed, this post is placing a major focus on “C” See?

It’s a wellness post prompted by my latest speeding ticket a week ago today. I need to regroup and slow down and I’m taking you with me.

Now in my defense (Oh, and speaking of defense, yes, I took the defensive driving course that keeps you mindful of driving habits and is looked upon kindly by vehicle insurance companies… And it was, I believe, close to a year before I got another speeding ticket) I reformed. Yes, I did.

I now get speeding tickets every 18 months. You can just about set your clock to it. Oh, and I don’t get them on major highways anymore. Nope, not me. My new bad habit is getting them speeding through small town speed limits of 25 to 30 miles an hour. I average 20 miles an hour faster and I blame it on the fact that I can’t use my cruise control when romping through the scenic towns of Rhinebeck, Red hook and Tivoli (Ticket, ticket and, yes, ticket.)

Really, does this sound like the gal who received an Excellence medal in the third grade for no days absent? Does this sound like the gal who is always talking about the healing properties of vegetables, the glory in being properly hydrated and how honoring what you place inside your body is important because everything you eat becomes your tissues, your organs, your muscles, your blood, your thoughts, your feelings and your actions?! No, it doesn’t. I know, I know, I know.

I’m not going to blame anything I ate, did or didn’t drink or the amount of sleep I have or haven’t been getting. I’m ‘fessing up and taking full responsibility in the fact that much as I try I have bouts of time when I’m simply not present because I’m either literally racing around town and/or figuratively racing because my mind obsesses on and on and on.

In my human experience, I “forget” to slow it all down by breathing. Some long, deep breaths down to my belly (not up in my throat and chest) and more quiet time in my mind (heart and soul) is what’s going to stop my driving insanity. NOT another ticket, defensive driving course, insurance notice or those darn state trouper/local town police cars and their glaring spinning red lights.

So, what’s your speed? What’s the tangible “thing” that has a hold on you where you subconsciously act out and stay in the drama instead of the delight of your own co-created life? I’m asking if you are present enough to know your own dirty little secret. And I’m inviting you to bring it out into the light so it can’t pull you over and fine you any longer.

Lest you wonder how it is that as part of my practice I TEACH breathing, the importance of slowing down and the practice of awareness know that one often teaches what one needs to learn. This one does anyway. I’m always right there learning with the rest of you.

“Tis the season for many things, many of them somewhat frenetic and hectic Slow yourself down with breath. Here’s a breathing exercise that I used while the nice police officer was checking my license and registration:

-Inhale deeply and slowly from way down in your belly for a count of five.
-Hold that lungful of air for an equal count of five.
-Exhale long, hard and deep for a count of six or, if you can, seven or eight.

Repeat the breathing exercise three to five times, thinking of the image of inhaling as that of receiving in what you need and want in your life. As you exhale, let that be the letting go of any and everything that doesn’t serve you. Take note of how you feel after you practice this.
Think of it as your own personal…….. cruise control.

If you are interested in learning more about my practice for nutrition/wellness counseling or in my in person or teleclasses on slowing down/breathing/awareness contact me via my website: