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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 17  |  February 26, 2021

Guest Column

Call for our collective reorientation: How to be brave, go slow 

By Dr. Vidya Reddy

If your nervous system has been off kilter for years, when you finally say less “go! go!” that could be slightly confusing to your system. 

And actual stillness can be disorienting. What you thought was north can go south; what you thought mattered so much just isn’t the point anymore…

Stillness isn’t the absence of movement. It’s a focus on the present. 

Here’s a question for you. Pretend I asked you this question a year ago:

If the majority of the world slowed down because of one unifying singular crisis event…would that be enough for you to give yourself a break? 

--Admit to your longing to slow down. If you can’t fess up to it, just take my word for it, you probably need to slow down. Take Mother Earth’s word for it, she is telling us to slowww the heck down. 

--Breathe. For those of us with the privilege to slow down…What do you not need to have, and not need to do? I just asked the lovely people in a membership program that question in our Zoom call. In about three minutes, these responses came in:

“I don’t need…to commute three hours to work, $14 cocktails, to go to the spa so much, to go to family gatherings, to try to fill my schedule because I’m afraid of being lonely, to get my nails done, to drive every day, to shop every day, to see people every day.”

And we probably don’t need as much takeout food, as many pairs of new shoes, or clothes, or bags of stuff and more stuff. We also don’t need to answer all of our emails, or respond to all of our texts, or jet-set. 

Guest Column Call for doctor

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Photo by Johnny Antezana

Dr. Vidya Reddy

--Take your joy. On many days your joy will be an act of defiance. Do it. The darkness feeds on fear, doubt, and lack-thinking. Joy dispels that darkness. It strengthens our collective immune system.

--Make personal pain transpersonal. Feel your pain fully, with compassion. You let it soften you, and then…you look up to ask, who else is experiencing this pain, or worse? Is there a way I can help comfort them or alleviate their pain? This is not to invalidate your own suffering. It’s to validate someone else’s. This is an act of inclusiveness.

As a thought exercise, I’ve learned a lot of things over the past few months and feel compelled to share them with you in the spirit of robust helpfulness. If you would like more information, techniques and meditation based on Life Lessons, please refer to my blog:

I’ve been practicing living “slower” this year. Intentionally. Not forced or mandated, but a liberated slowing down. I’m intentionally getting slower to get everywhere – to decisions, to commitments, to “arriving” at where I’ve been trying to get, ASAP, for such a long time. Much slower to judge. And as for jumping to conclusions, I’m practicing at a snail’s speed.

Guest Column Call for Vidya

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Photo by Pieter Baetens

Try some forest-bathing

I think we are in a collective reorientation. Spirit is asking us to slow down and pay attention to our breathing. On days when the compression and disorientation are intense, this truth, repeated like a mantra may steady you: I am breathing. I am breathing. I am breathing.

Because there’s so much packed in that. You are choosing life from your unconscious depths. And something greater than your perception of your small self is breathing you. Something vast, something with a higher plan. Something inconceivably intelligent and loving.

You have to breathe to tap your true life force – to feel Creation carrying you. So many of us are breathless, panting hard to prove our “worthiness.” It’s not passionate, it’s punishing.

I am convinced that this past year, we’re now in global group therapy and that our Higher Consciousness is asking us to slow down to notice one another, and to inquire as to how we got to this place, and to see how profoundly similar we are.

Going slower and deeper can be terrifying. I highly recommend it. 

I was a workaholic. My pace of work had been a speed-skate over the dark patches of myself: my fear, my wounds, and tremulous self-worth. Which is to say, I worked my ass off to avoid much of my humanity. Seems to be a universal part of our condition.

Slow down and meet your pain and your power. They are dance partners.

When you greet your humanity with compassion, you realize your holiness.

You are vast. And you have to slow down to meet that kind of wholeness.

Slower is brave. Slower is flow. Slower is Faith. Slower, as I’ve come to discover, is loving-kindness.

I promise it will not break your spirit, but it will break down your addictions. Slower is not robbing us, it’s helping us to be here – really be here – so we can see who we really are.

You are breathing.

In Peace, Love and Gratitude. 

‘Til next time.

Dr. Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC


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