Almost one month ago, I shared a post about my secret affair with being busy.
In it I announced that I had made a decision to commit to my nervous systems need for ease and a slow season of business.
As is often the way, naming out loud my intention for change set in motion a cascade of self- and life-realisations that, now that I have seen them, I can't unsee.
I wanted to share them with you because what I'm doing right now is something that the women in my one on one Inner Alchemy Program often confess they're afraid to do: I'm slowing way down so I can observe what isn't working, with the intention of cultivating change on the deepest level of my being.
Curious to know more? Grab a cuppa and join me for an unveiling of the lessons I, and many women like you, are learning in the process of rewiring our patterns of self sabotage.
Life, habits, and actions often remind me of Newton's first law of motion (inertia): an object in motion remains in motion at a constant speed and in a straight line unless acted on by an unbalanced force.
The idea of slowing down, is an unbalanced force. In fact, it feels unhinged. Bonkers. Not at all in keeping with what the external reality of life makes us think we need to keep doing.
However, when we give ourselves permission to explore this uncomfortable edge, our inner reality shifts and discovers a secret that our external world hasn't picked up on yet.
We need to grind the brakes to find a new speed and a new direction. And that direction is one of presence, excitement, and fulfillment.
Over the last few months I have been exploring the nature of 'slowing down'. It has been an experiment that makes me cringe as I come to terms with how deeply ingrained the layers of 'addiction to busyness' are and all of the self sabotaging behaviour that allies with it.
As this experiment has been in play, I've observed the actions, habits, and beliefs that keep steering me away from 'what is', into a realm of what could be, should be or I don't want to be.
I've witnessed the true level of my distraction, and where I feel empty or wanting. I've gotta say, I totally understand why so many people are intimidated by ‘inner work’, it is super disruptive to life as we know it!
That said, it is deeply humbling and brings us back to the Earth.
Below I will share some of the revelations that have surfaced along the way with some journaling questions, if you're feeling brave of heart.
3 Self Sabotaging Behaviours That Once Seen, Can't be Unseen
Awareness #1: Slowing down is not just a seasonal thing
In a world that glorifies hustle and rapid progress, an essential lesson emerges: slowing down is not a mere occurrence during vacation time or cyclic flow with the seasons; it's an invitation to attune ourselves to our natural pace.
"It became clear within days of intentionally slowing down that this is my actual speed. I recognise that I relish moving slowly. I luxuriate in the speed of honey dripping from the comb. In any given movement practice, I will find the slowest way to do it. I walk, not run; I do yin yoga when most do vinyasa; I mosey. It is delightful and not at all how I approach my business.
And, to be clear, it often just appears to me that I move slowly because my brain moves so fast, and I have a million ideas.
By slowing down to the pace my body (my unique energy flow) actually wants to move, it creates time for the ideas that aren't for me or not for now to drop away."
The journey of change often begins by acknowledging the resonance of your unique energy flow. By aligning with your body's ideal pace, you create space for true purpose to emerge. As you shed the unnecessary, what remains is the core of your present mission.
This inquiry beckons:
What pace does your body yearn for?
How can you navigate life in this unhurried rhythm?
Reflect on the forces that impede this pace and discern which are valid and which are mere excuses.
Awareness #2: Differentiating Working from Worrying
Among the layers of transformation lies a profound realisation: what was often mistaken for productivity was, in fact, the weight of unnecessary worry.
"For the last two months, I've worked between 0-3 hours daily on my business and in my business. And soberingly realised that the rest of the time I used to spend working...wasn't really work. It was worrying. Stressing. Planning. Triple checking. Dreaming of doing things and wondering how I would get them done because I had no bandwidth for extra things.
The illusion of busyness dissolves, revealing that true work is purposeful and invigorating.
The energy spent on convincing oneself to follow paths that don't align becomes evident, echoing the desire for autonomy and genuine fulfillment.
In this moment of clarity, the power to reshape your days rests in your hands.
"I was spending so much time and energy doing things I thought I needed to do, trying to convince myself that I could find *my* way to do them while also unconsciously resenting that I couldn't just do what I wanted.
I said f#@k that. I can absolutely do what I want.
As a result, my Instagram account @daily.alchemy has been on hiatus for the last 3 months. I have put minimal effort into Facebook and reclaimed a sense of my creative life force! With that comes the added bonus - THE HAPPY DANCE - I do every time my phone says I have used it less than last week!"
Liberated from the chains of an anxious mind, you embrace the essence of effluence - flowing with the creative life force. Which, not surprisingly becomes the most efficient use of your time and energy.
Perhaps you would like to reflect on your daily activities?...
If you wrote down everything you did all day, how much time is spent worrying about, stressing over, or convincing yourself to do something you don't want to do?
Can you relinquish some tasks or delegate them?
Which ones might you actually enjoy if other time sinkers disappeared?
Awareness #3: There's a fine line between resting and dissociating
Within the framework of transformation, a delicate balance emerges between rest and disassociation. The realisation dawns that rest isn't solely about detachment; it's a channel for integration and growth.
If you've been around for a while, you know that dissociating has been and on occasion, still is, my emergency eject button. Life gets stressful, feelings get overwhelming, the world keeps collapsing, and boom, my nervous system wants me to GTFO of my body.
Over the last decade, I've shifted that pattern a lot. Instead of leaving my body and walking around like a shell of a human for weeks on end, I now listen to music and just leave the room and the people I'm with. But I don't leave my body (lol, small wins!)
It's funny how our brain sometimes (often) makes up a story to cover for our behavior. My brain's story was that I was resting. I was doing something I found enjoyable!
While watching myself and my habits over the last few months, I realised what I have actually been doing is ‘borrowing’ a new emotional state - letting the music be a source of escapism that could take me away from what I was feeling and into something easier, lighter; a welcomed distraction.
Rest is a crucial part of integrating new energy, beliefs, habits, and patterns, and we need it to process and feel the feelings that arise in stillness. Not to escape or distract ourselves from what is there.
Consider the rest in your life:
Is it a genuine source of rejuvenation?
Does it provide the space needed to acknowledge and experience your feelings? If not, when do you let your body do this?
Transformation occurs when rest becomes a conduit for processing emotions and integrating new energies. As you navigate this balance, you transition from escaping to embracing, from avoiding to confronting. This evolution catalyses authentic change.
After re-reading this post a few times, wondering if it's too depressing (maybe), too preachy (inquiry prompts, seriously?!), or too vulnerable (highly likely), I've realised that it only tells half of the story.
It shows what I was doing that I didn't want to do anymore.
It was framed from the beginning as what no longer wanted to be in motion.
I could have reframed them as "positives," but that screams before-and-after to me, and I'm more of a process-oriented gal.
Just know, during this same time, I have found so much enjoyment in new experiments and routines I'm trying on. I've been present with my friends and family in a way that I've been missing, and I think they've been missing from me.
I've somehow (with zero marketing and no social media) had more people on the dance floor and in my workshops than previous months and welcomed a handful of new clients onto their one on one Inner Alchemy journeys.
Things are happening that don't make sense for my "effort," but I believe it's the universe's way of saying, "Yes, Jade, more of this, please." So onward I go.
I'm curious if you can relate to any of these 'aha' moments or self sabotaging behaviours?
Or what might come up for you as you explore some of the enquiries...
Feel free to reach out if you are moved to. I always welcome a chance to learn from you and about you.
After all, in a world that empahsises self-care, there is space to illuminates the importance of collective-care. Your voice matters, and I am here if you are ready to be seen or heard or felt!
Here's to scary experiments in embodiment.
With love, Xx Jade