Slowing Down to Create Space
Ella is a meditation guide and intuitive energy healer, who facilitates grounding, healing spaces that weave together journalling, meditation, movement and ritual. With over 20 years working in the fashion industry, through her own direct experience she understands, the impact that being busy, always being on, has on the nervous system and the soul. With this insight Ella is able to share potent practices that support renewal at every area of people's lives, allowing them to live a life of true freedom and joy.
I used to wear my busyness like a badge of honour, worshipping at its altar. Racing around my feet barely touching the floor. Checking all my devices the moment I woke up, racing out the door slurping my coffee, chomping on my breakfast, a million ideas racing around in my head. Every moment was an opportunity for me to squeeze a little bit more into my day, taking multi-tasking (which by the way is a total fallacy) to a whole new level. How many tasks can I complete at once was the soundtrack of my life. Overloading myself with more than was humanly possible. Saying yes to everything - does anything here sound familiar? - if I just do this one more thing, then........
My ‘come to Ella’ moment was an accumulation of things, the circumstances of my life literally forced me to stop and step away from the grind culture that I was immersed in. Thinking that this was the only way to live life.
Grind culture is a culture of performative workaholism, the idea that the more hours you put in, the better a person you are. Striving, always for the next thing. There’s nothing wrong with striving but it’s the force that’s used on the way there that can cause the most harm to us and our health. It’s the expectation that you need to be first in the office, the last to leave, working weekends, always being available day or night to respond to all forms of communication.
Wow, I think to myself, this was how I lived every day for the last 20 years.
Taking it slow
As the world continues to open back up and we emerge from the cocoon I’m taking it slow and slower still. By slowing down and taking rest when I need it and being present to every moment as it arises I’ve created more space in my life than I could have ever conceived. That’s one of the cornerstones of grind culture, the myth that busyness leads to fulfilment. If you rest, you’re somehow missing out - the ultimate FOMO. The thing about my own direct experience was that the busyness was all a huge cover up. The fear was real. When I did slow down, I gradually realised that I was so far away from anything that I really cared about. I mean, what a question to ask yourself
“Am I close to the things in my life that I care about?”
So, if any of this resonates with you, and you deeply desire more space in your day, don’t worry I’ve got you. Honouring the needs of my body and not bypassing them has radically shifted my relationship to rest. You see the thing is our bodies are so miraculous - they’re giving us information all the time. Our job is to give ourselves permission to create enough space to really listen.
I know, I know I can hear you from here. ‘Seriously lady, there literally isn’t a minute spare in my day and now you’re asking me to magic some more up. From where?’ Creating space isn’t about taking a huge chunk of time out of your life to pause, although this can be helpful. It’s about slowly, very slowly, day by day, moment by moment, breath by breath, remembering what’s important to you? What do you really care about? When you are clear with your intention and bring your awareness to this every day, over time subtle shifts take place. Intention is powerful.
Cultivating a life where you are rested and restored is everybody’s birthright. Our nervous systems are in a constant state of hyperarousal and in my direct experience it’s rest that is the most accessible way for us to regulate this. (Sidenote I used to think this was drinking a lot of wine and taking holidays to escape the frantic pace of my life). Rest activates our parasympathetic nervous system, the bit that is responsible for the body’s rest and digest response. As modern life demands that we spend so much of our lives in hyper aroused states, chances are we probably need some support with accessing this system.
In my direct experience restorative yoga and yoga nidra are my go-to practices when I am feeling ungrounded and in need of restoration. Some teachers I would recommend to support you with these practices are Yvonne Henrietta https://yvonnehenriettayoga.com for restorative yoga and Tracey Stanley for yoga nidra https://traceeyoga.com.
I’m also all about taking pleasure in every moment, drinking everything in. Now I’m the person that I probably used to tut at for walking too slowly, or chatting for too long to the person in the store, by slowing down I can see things clearly exactly as they are. I’m working the least I’ve ever done in my life, earning less money than I did in my early 20’s, yet somehow, I feel more content and more fulfilled than I have ever done. By slowing down, my entire relationship to prosperity and abundance has shifted and I could not have asked for a greater gift.
There’s no set formula for when and how you practice it, it’s the highest commitment that you can make to yourself to take care of yourself.