Positive Possibilities Living: Slow Down To Live Your Joy, by Parvati Devi
The following is an excerpt from Parvati’s new book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie” available soon.
After my year in India, when all I knew had been unraveled, I was very ungrounded. An Ayurvedic doctor encouraged me to “think turtle”. With this simple slogan, he was kindly trying to help me ground and be more rooted in my body/being. I have thought a lot about turtles over the years. The motto “think turtle” helped me grow calm when I would get wired up. It helped me feel more connected to the Mother Earth. Turtles in their slow moving bodies, seem powerfully connected, wise and humble.
I know that the more I meditate, the more I go deeply within and find that place of immense perfection and expansion, the more time I have. I have fooled myself at times by thinking I had too much to do and could not possibly meditate that day, so I would cut my practice short. Sure enough, as the day progressed, my mind would become more scrambled, my thoughts less clear, my actions less direct. I know it to be true that when we take the time to slow down, we actually get more done. We also enjoy what we do far more than we would if we were in a stressed hurry.
The classic fable “The Tortoise and the Hare” tells of a hare that mocks the slow moving tortoise and challenges him to a race. With cocky confidence, the hare quickly leaves the hare behind. With a strong lead in the race, the hare decides to take a nap. He awakens to find the tortoise crawling slowly and steadily across the finish line before him. Our minds are like the hare, jumping around, racing ahead in spurts and starts. The tortoise is like our deeper selves that we learn to trust, with which we must connect. We learn to see that the slow and steady ways of the tortoise are like a cool stream of consciousness that moves continually forward. The tortoise is like the loving force of life in which we can rest. With the zippy vigor of the hare, we may find our tasks done, but with eventual exhaustion and not necessarily having enjoyed the journey. The tortoise flows with a quiet assurance along its path, without fight, without resistance, in humbled surrender to what is. He is more like the karma yogi that Krishna describes.
Ask yourself what is your deepest joy and make sure you do that every day. Life is too short to be full of “shoulds”. I feel the best practice is to eliminate the word “should” from our vocabulary. Should comes from the outside. Joy arises from within, like a flower blooming to meet the sun. When we open to what is, we are happier. We relax. We enjoy. When we do not resist what is, we expand and so does our ability to think, to feel, to process and to act. We accomplish more in less time. When we act by aligning to our deepest truth and highest potential, we experience the divine. Life flowers in joy, rather than in resistance and resentment. Time seems to expand to meet that which is essential. Small miracles unfold, without effort. As we slow down, we meet the fullness of what is.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine and an internationally recognized Canadian musician, yogi and new thought leader. As a chart-topping touring musician, Parvati spearheads the Post New-Age musical genre with her independent success hit single “Yoga in the Nightclub” and accompanying show “YIN”. She founded YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a powerful yoga method that combines energy work and yoga poses. Her critically acclaimed self-help debut book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie – A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker” is currently in its third edition.