What I learnt this week: Who’s driving this thing?

Last weekend I spent the night at an ashram.  It was incredibly blissful and exactly what I needed.  Time to unwind and just be.  I was able to slow down and take things at my own pace.  Everyone needs to be able to do that but it has become increasingly difficult to do so.  Or has it?

Before I reveal what I learnt, I’ll tell you about my experience at Rocklyn Ashram.

I arrived, utterly exhausted on the Saturday afternoon.  Put my tent up in the blazing sun.  From here on in things started to get better.  Afternoon tea was served- a delightful apple pie, coupled by a cuppa under the shade of a peach tree.  Once I soaked in the superb serenity I started to feel better.

At 3.30pm it was time for yoga beside the dam.  After the session I showered and prepared for the ‘Havan’- a healing ceremony.  Now…this was a lot of chanting.  And I mean a lot!  I’ve gotten my over active mind on board with meditation and slowing down my yoga practice but I’m not enlightened enough to chant prayers a million times.  However I persevered and listened to everyone else around me.  And I did feel lighter afterwards.

Dinner was baked veggies and herbs from the garden- delicious.  I was full, content and ready for bed.  Slept in my tent with the windows open, watching the stars and listening to the birds (praying that a snake wouldn’t sneak into my tent and get me).

As you may have guessed I wasn’t eaten by a ravenous beast.   And I actually slept in, missing the morning yoga session! I must have needed the sleep!  Ate breaky and finished reading ‘Wild’ in my cosy little bed.

At 9am I decided to help the kitchen prepare lunch- it’s called Karma Yoga (doing things whilst being mindful).  Kinda like working for free but you do it gladly.  However after pulling spikey pumpkin leaves apart for 2 hours, I felt I’d earnt enough good karma.  Went and joined a meditation class, followed by lunch at the dam.

Spent the afternoon writing, feeling the cool breeze on my skin and sun on my feet.  But then it was time to leave.  I packed my tent with a heavy heart because I knew I had to go back to my hectic life.  As I drove away I was on the verge of tears.

How could I hold on to the feeling of serenity I’d discovered and bring it into my life?

There had to be a way…

I hit the highway after driving on 7km’s of dirt road.  I went from 40km’s to 100km’s.  It was too fast.  I felt out of control.  Even though it was the speed limit- it was too much!  That’s when it dawned on me.  I’m the one with my foot on the accelerator.  I’m in control! So I slowed down.  I drove the pace I wanted to go.  The pace I was comfortable with.

Sooooo, I realised that I could take this idea into my life.  I control my diary- how and when I do things.  Yes, I have deadlines but how I approach them is up to me.   I get to choose how fast I want to drive in my life.  Even if there’s some crazy maniac behind me, tooting and swearing at me to go faster-  I don’t have to!  I can pull over any time.

Because I’m in the driver’s seat of my life.

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