What would it be like if you focused less on ‘doing’ and eased more into ‘being’?
“And there came a time when the risk of remaining closed tight in a bud far outweighed the risk it took to bloom.” –Anaïs Nin
This is my favourite time in spring, when the first tentative buds have given way to an explosion of colour, vibrant rhododendrons, wisteria, trees cascading with lime green leaves and the lilacs are just beginning to unfurl. Some of these blooms are just here for a short time so there impact is all the more noticeable – they invite us to pause, to pay attention, to appreciate the beauty that comes from being in the moment.
Yet perhaps you may be feeling a little stuck, uneasy, lacking sleep or finding energy levels are low. Spring has a way of shaking things up and with all that is going on in the world around us, it can feel challenging.
How can we live into our potential when we’re feeling uncertain or overwhelmed?
Creating space, find stillness
Rather than pushing and powering through regardless, follow nature’s lead. What would it be like if you focused less on ‘doing’ and eased more into ‘being’?
Allow your wishes, desires and creativity to emerge and find a new way of expression. Let them rise up when it feels right, trust in the process, the more you allow yourself to pause, the more you’ll be able to see.
A while back I shared a simple practice to help with those uneasy moments. Many of you kindly responded letting me know how valuable you found it, so I’m sharing again, either as a welcome reminder for some or a new approach for others.
How vision can change our stress levels
What you see and how you view the world, literally, has an incredible impact on your state of mind.
If you’re unable to take a holiday right now or your family break is more about taking care of others, you may like to try this.
One simple tool I’ve offered private clients when they’re experiencing stress or overwhelm is to look outside and find the horizon.
It can be like an instant reset.
For the more science-minded who’d like some context, Dr Andrew Huberman PhD neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University, awarded for his discoveries in the study of vision, has some interesting information that I’d like to share with you.
- Our vision state is one of the fastest ways to control our stress levels and internal state. Like the breath, we can manipulate how our mind and body function.
- Notice what happens when you look at the horizon: Your eyes naturally relax as you look forward. You won’t look at one thing for very long but still looking ahead, will begin to widen your peripheral view taking in more of your environment and yourself within that space.
- Viewing the horizon automatically engages relaxing, panoramic vision.
- By contrast, looking at a device, a screen, a document or focusing on a challenging task, conversation or problem automatically reduces our visual awareness. Our whole attention and visual field narrows to that one thing, triggering an internal stress response.
- However, you have the ability to regulate your own nervous system through breathing (which I often talk about and integrate into almost all my teachings) and peripheral vision awareness. These are skills you can easily and regularly integrate into your daily life.
- To illustrate this, imagine how we perceive time. When under stress or experiencing shock, such as an accident, people often sense it happening in slow motion. Our internal stress response speeds up to the point where we dissect events into much finer slices. When we’re relaxed, on the other hand, we’re able to step back, take in more perspectives, trust that things will work out and the difficulty will pass. We are literally able to ‘see the bigger picture.’
Tell me, where is your favourite horizon?
I hope this will help you find a new level of appreciation for tuning in and opening up a deeper level of awareness and truth for what matters and thrives within us all.
As you look out into the world, seek beauty and simplicity. This is my practice right now. And one I’d love to experience with you in person in Tuscany.
Replenish Yoga Retreat
24-29 July 2022
We have space, we have time, we have natural beauty – it may be just what you need.
There is so much beautiful space to explore within your inner and outer world.
I can’t wait to welcome you!
P.S. The retreat is also ideal for couples or friends traveling together. Please feel free to share https://karenkurzmeyer.com/replenish-yoga-retreat/
P.P.S. If you’d like to read more. Here’s an article from the Scientific American.