Updated: Oct 27, 2022
What's up Bald-Heads? We have about a week left of our month of Tapas (willpower) so umm...
If you are new here WELCOME, I'm Jin, in this blog my focus is always on self-care as it pertains to your whole being. That's mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I share things that have worked for me, things that others have shared with me that have worked for them, and things I've learned or studied as a way to help those who may want or need it.
*This blog usually contains some affiliate links available for you to use at no cost to you. I do receive a small commission when the links are used. The funding goes to support this content. So if you like this blog/newsletter and you want to see more of it use the links and let me know what you want to see more of.*
Now that we have that out of the way let's get to it.
Transitions, directions, and slowing down are the three things that have been coming up for the people in the bald-headed community so I decided it was time to sit down and write you all a love letter because
If you have been following this blog or my journey for a while you know I am a mental health professional as well as a yoga practitioner. I hold a B.S in Community Health from Ohio University, an M.S in School Counseling from Capella University, and I am a registered 200 hr yoga practitioner. *Practitioner: (noun) a person actively engaged in an art, discipline, or profession, especially medicine.*
Simply put I actively practice my craft daily, attend training to grow in the field, create plans for my clients to help them mentally, physically, and emotionally, talk them through movements of uncomfortable growth and help them transition onto the next phase of their journey. My mom calls me a "Yogologist" and well she ain't wrong. I am a person who studies the science of Yoga as it pertains to the human mind and body for the purpose of healing.
I think this makes for a nice transition into story time:
A smooth transition
There I was standing at the top of my mat with my hands at my heart in mountain pose. I took a big inhale lifted my left leg on my exhale I sent my left leg behind me to form a lunge. When I got there I paused and thought "where am I going from here?" The answer was up, I inhaled to reach my arms towards the sky, exhaled to bring my arms down with a slight bend in the elbows so that my arms took the shape of a cactus, inhaled to send my arms back up towards the ceiling, then exhaled as I spun my left foot down at about a 30-degree angle opened my arms out into a "T" landing in Warrior 2 and thought yea that was
If that got lost in translation let me bring it back to plan English. I was actively creating something we call a dynamic warrior sequence for a yoga class that I teach. I wanted to make sure the transition from this
was a smooth as could be. As the leader of the class, the students are looking to me for directions to get them to a destination they've never been to before thus, the ability to give clear directions is important. While it would be easy to say "Come on everyone let's do yoga I'm not going to tell you what to do just watch me and get there however you get there."
The Compete beginner:
This is dangerous on so many different levels. Imagine trying to drive your car and look at GPS at the same time. You keep looking down at your phone, then up at the road, then down at your phone then stopping short because you are driving a little too fast for someone who doesn't know where they are going hence why you are using a GPS in the first place but the GPS isn't giving you clear directions so you missed your exit and you have to recalculate. Now you are huffing and puffing going off at the GPS *eye roll- hand toss* it's a whole scene.
The person reading this:
No, I'm not spying on you I've just been there too many times before. Going way too fast not knowing what I'm doing only to find myself pissed off and frustrated. This brings me to the fifth Niyama which is Svadhaya or self-study. In order to give good directions, I needed to study myself and take notes on how I got from point A to point B so when the time came I could guide someone to their destination in the simplest way possible without making them feel overwhelmed or frustrated.
This process required me to slow down. The world has adopted this hustle mindset. We feel like we have to be on go all the time and we have to move fast to make things happen quickly. We don't think about how we are driving our bodies and over-extending ourselves to the point of burnout. Children learn what they live and I lived in poverty through childhood and the first part of my adult life. All I knew how to do was *insert a cheer voice* H-U-S-TLE HUSTLE HUSTLE FOR A VICTORY. I would hustle from sun up to sun down doing whatever it took to get me where I wanted to go. I even said, "I can't sleep because I can't afford to."
The biggest lie told since 99' truth is I couldn't afford NOT to sleep. After studying myself for 3 years I realized that this was one of my trauma responses and I had to learn how to no longer operate in that manner. Slowing down terrified me in the beginning because I thought "If I'm not doing something quickly at all times I'm not being productive" Newsflash: Slowing down and taking a break is one of the most productive things you could do if you want to keep your sanity and momentum.
We find it hard to slow down though because our Parasympathetic Nervous System or PNS is out of whack. The PNS is the part of the nervous system that is responsible for rest and digestion. It is supposed to help us heal, refresh, and restart but if we have conditioned ourselves to ignore the signals it's sending to our brain we crash out landing us in the hospital for unexplainable pain, trying to fight a migraine, dealing with insomnia, IBS, fibromyalgia flare-ups, or worse dead.
I would love it if we stopped wearing the term "hustler" as a badge of honor if we are depriving ourselves of the things we need in order to function as working human people. I encourage us all to slow down just a couple of breath cycles while our body catches up to our minds. Your mind comes first then your body follows. Working yourself to burnout is counterproductive and is an act of violence against yourself. Repeat after me REST IS PRODUCTIVE. Full stop end of discussion.
Following directions can be difficult if you always ignore the GPS thinking you know where you are going. There may come a time where there is construction happening on your normal route and you have to go on an unfamiliar path to get to the same destination. Now use this analogy with your mental, physical, and emotional health.
Practice listening to the cues your body is sending you. This is your internal GPS it knows the way you just have to listen.
If listening to yourself is hard find a therapist, a coach, or BOTH. Therapy and Coaching is a recipe for winning wellness as long as you do the work.
Things that helped me slow down:
1. Writing with a pen on paper than sitting at a desk and typing what I wrote. I don’t always take the time to do the second part but I actually schedule time to introduce a pen to paper and I focus on my breath in the process. Fun fact my book The Bald Headed Chronicles is actually made up of things I hand-wrote into journals prior to releasing it for people to use as a tool to get to where they might need to go. Order your copy by following this link https://amzn.to/3pqxOtq (it’s also available on Kindle).
2. Coloring! Something about adding color to something that was once just black and white makes me smile. I put on some music and take my time picking out colors to create my masterpieces. I even color outside of the lines sometimes. Here are a couple links to some of my favorite coloring books.
Golden Girls coloring book https://amzn.to/3jquD1c
You F’ing got this https://amzn.to/3jnoe6I
Adult coloring book https://amzn.to/3G7PUX3
3. Yoga obviously helped me slow down. I never wanted to experience long holds in the past but since I’ve grown in practice I welcome longer holds as it helps to give my body time to catch up with my mind. If you are thinking about trying yoga here is a link to a starter kit https://amzn.to/3m0RiTt
4. Going outside for walks and watching the animals in their natural habitat. Nature teaches us harmony if we slow down long enough to learn.
5. I got some plants that I spend time with. I didn't want to get anything that require much of me because when I got them I didn't have much mental space to give them so I got four Aloe Aristata Cosmo plants, an Aloe Vera plant and a infant cactus over a year ago. When I got my kids the Cosmo's were painted and the size of rose buds, the Aloe Vera plant was tinn-tea, and the cactus was a fetus. I had a snake plant and a peace plant too but unfortunately, the big kids didn't make it. I had no idea what I was doing with these kids. The little kids required less of me. They just wanted water once a week but could go two weeks without being bothered, some indirect sunlight and for me to hype them up every now and then. It's been 13 months since I got my little kids and my babies are thriving. The Cosmo's have grown so much the paint is only on their tips. They were babies so I had to slow down to notice and acknowledge their growth and congratulate myself for keeping them alive for this long.
6. Creating Art in all forms. Art takes time and slowing down to enjoy the process of creating really helped me appreciate the finished product so much more.
Closing Thoughts and Questions:
Working yourself to the point of burnout and ignoring all of the cues your body is giving you to slow down is an act of self-inflicted violence. How can you practice nonviolence in a relationship with yourself?
Slowing down to study yourself isn't always fun because when you know better it requires you to do better. We are addicted to being comfortable with ignorance for that exact reason. When will you say enough is enough and mean it long enough to actually pay closer attention to yourself and less attention to everyone else?
That's all I have for you be sure to grab some art on your way out by clicking the title shop in the navigation section of this website. Like and share this post with someone that may find it helpful. Comment below some things that you have done to slow down and listen to yourself this lets me know that you found this content useful.
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Listen to my Podcast "The Bald Headed Chronicles" available on Spotify, Google, Apple, Stitcher, Anchor, and where ever you listen to podcast.
Until next time remember, we are all bald-headed under our hair so keep minding your bald-headed business. Namaste