How to Know When to Slow Down

So this week has been a mixture of things. You know those funny weeks where everything (and the rest) that could go wrong just hits you like a tonne of bricks, that was it for me. I have felt stress, disappointment, confusion, sadness, anxiety and have honestly been a bit of a misery to be around. Don’t worry this post isn’t going to be me moaning about my crap week, but let me have my moment.

After Wednesday I thought it couldn’t get much worse. Thursday came and there it was, the big fat warning sign, that up until then I didn’t see coming but looking back should have expected.

On Wednesday evening I went and met a close friend for dinner. I hadn’t seen her for months and something the week before had really urged me to send her a message. We met in our favourite restaurant and had a great old catch up, just chatting about normal everyday things. We spoke a lot about her business and she caught me up on her latest ventures in the gym as she’d recently become interested in qualifying as a personal trainer. I also spoke to her about some exciting things I have coming up in the next few months and we found ourselves chatting about starting our own businesses and the daily grind of the 9-5. I quite openly shared how I was feeling that week and how it was all getting a bit much and I needed a break. I am known, just like my Mum, for taking too much on and quite often letting stress takeover my life. Last week was certainly an example of that.

My pal kindly recommended some books for me to read, on all sorts of things, mainly confidence and business building. One of these was called The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. I had never heard of her before but thought I’d give it a go, given how much my friend was raving about her. I am not a follower of cult fitness books or videos, I find a lot of the attention for them can just be hype and not worth the read. However, the title of the book really resonated with me. I would describe myself as a realist and live my life quite honestly through facts not fiction, but I’m not ashamed to say that I do believe that things can happen for a reason and that the Universe plays a huge part in the paths that we take. That evening I downloaded the audio version of the book and started to listen.

In the first five minutes I’d already looked up more books from the Author and really enjoyed what I was hearing. She spoke about energy, power, habits and their connection to success, both in business but also life happiness. The next morning I woke up feeling relatively calm but the minute I left the house I realised I was running late and mindlessly charged the twenty minute walk to the station. I won’t talk you through the detail of what happened next as I can’t remember the sequence of events very clearly myself, but the long and short of it was that I fell. I fell down the escalator to the tube and it hurt. ALOT!  It had been raining granted, and the floors were slippery, but I had been anxious and I was rushing from the minute I’d stepped outside. For what I was rushing for I actually don’t know. Being on time for work I guess, but even leaving at that time, I would have been fifteen minutes early anyway. I got myself up I went and took five minutes on the platform before deciding to turn around and walk home. What surprised me the most is that I didn’t feel scared or upset. I had really hurt myself and my bum and leg were pounding after hitting the metal step and I could definitely feel a cut, but I kept my cool. I got home and text my other half telling him what had happened. Shortly after, I said ‘I think the universe is telling me to slow down’ and he replied with ‘I would agree’. At that moment I knew this wasn’t just an unlucky incident, I honestly felt like it was a sign. I also messaged my friend and, to my surprise, she wasn’t shocked by what had happened. Of course she was concerned for me and asked if I was okay but her reaction was ‘see, what did I say about the book?’. Now, I haven’t forgotten what I said about being a realist and a lot of people will just say this was a coincidence, I would normally agree. I am not religious, I never have been and I don’t believe in a higher power, but there was something here, maybe hope, maybe pure and simple determination, that made me want to believe in something stronger than me, an energy. Was the Universe telling me something?

What was clear to me, and has stuck with me since, is that I need to slow down physically (clearly because I can’t seem to walk down stairs without falling over) but most importantly, mentally. My mind runs at a thousand miles an hour every day, I’m completely aware of it and I just let it churn on most days like most other people do. But there is a strength and power in changing your direction sometimes and this is exactly what I want to empower myself to do. You need to change your habits, your mindset, your goals (whilst of course keeping it real). Whatever you want to achieve you can, you just need to slow it down and find the strength to steer onto a different path.

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