In this episode I explore the downfalls of rushing through our days and essentially our lives… and some “out of the box” ways to rest, refuel, and recharge.
What you'll Discover
- Why hugging a tree isn’t as goofy as you might think!
- The power of sound in grounding your body and mind.
- A magical thing we do everyday that if used wisely, can center us quickly.
Enjoy the Show
I found a quote that was perfect for today, author unknown. And here it goes, “once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for.” I think that’s so true. And this quote is the inspiration for this week’s podcast, three unique ways to stop rushing. So for those of you that have reached out to me and sent your, uh, this really lovely comments on my podcast and how it’s resonating with you, you have to know that these episodes are things that I’m working on in my own life. So as you can imagine, the past week or so, I’ve been noticing a bit of rushing in my life. And so when I noticed something in my life, I start to have that awareness. I’m sure you can relate and look for some strategies to navigate and work through that roadblock.
And yeah, it’s been rushing for me. I think with the way things are the world right now, it seems every article or, um, you know, news story that you read, people are working longer hours, et cetera. A lot of people are working from home and it’s easy to just start stacking things and rushing things throughout the day. And so recently someone sent me an article on the power of rest and how, how sometimes, sometimes rest gets a bad rap, like, well, wait a minute. And for someone like me, who, a friend once described, he said, Meg, you’re like a whirling dervish running around. And I’m like, what? What’s a whirling dervish. So I looked it up and it’s those, those dancing ladies. And it’s pretty true. And I don’t know if you could relate, but sometimes when you have this moment of space in your day, you’re like looking left and right.
Like, well, what do I do? What do I do? And what I’ve been doing is trying to carve out in the evenings just some time to shut down, shut the laptop off, shut the work off, shut, shut the phone calls off. And either just like read or watch a Netflix show, just do something that gets my mind or gives my mind arrest. I guess you could say. And I was thinking about a topic to another thing that’s that sparked this week’s podcast. And by the way, you want to listen until the end, because I do have what I call a lovely little thing. It’s a simple pleasure for the week. And I want to share that with you. So make sure you stick around and listen to that. So, um, another thing that inspired actually, one of the unique ways to stop rushing in this podcast was a conversation with my dad.
And I’m going to get to that in a bit. But, um, he, he was talking about how everyone should have a woods, like a forest to go to. And it got me thinking, well, you know, what about all of us in the cities that don’t have a forest just to walk out to like, like he and my mom do. And I remembered a little tidbit that I’m going to jump into now. So actually, why don’t we just jump into the three unique ways to stop rushing? Um, so, so this episode, this week falls under the category of, I guess you could call mindfulness. There’s really about six different categories that you’ll find, um, in previous episodes and an upcoming episodes that center around self-care mindfulness, mysticism community, um, simple pleasures, all that good stuff. And so this week is about mindfulness. So, so when we find ourselves rushing, sometimes it’s, it’s fun and inspiring to just radically try something completely out out of the norm for us.
And so I try to pick three that when I chat about these three strategies with people, a lot of times they’ll say, Oh, I’ve never heard of that. Or, yeah, I kind of heard of that, but I’m really interested. So that’s what I want to share with you today. Cause that’s what this podcast is all about is just sharing things to create more tranquility in your life. I think if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re probably a pretty sensitive soul and pathic soul. You’re probably someone who I would call quote, unquote, one of those people who feels too much. And I think it’s imperative for when you are sensitive to everything in life, other people’s emotions, your own emotions, experiences that it’s so imperative and it’s your responsibility to really take the time to recharge because let’s face it when you get overwhelmed, you’re you’re of no use to yourself or anyone else.
Okay. So you’re probably like Meg, let’s dive in. Okay, sorry. I’ll dive in. Number one, forest bathing. I’m kind of obsessed with this and this is what, um, when my father said, everyone should have their woods, their own woods are there and he meant it more as a metaphor, like, you know, for him, he, he walks in the woods and that’s what brings him peace. And, um, that’s what brought him peace for for years. I mean, where I grew up, um, you know, they built their house on the Wisconsin river when I was three years old and it abuts this beautiful, beautiful piece of property that, um, he spent hours and hours and you as I was a kid, you know, just breaking trails and cutting wood and we’d go out there and go ice skating on the ponds. And it was such wonderful memories.
It was just December, just a mystical forest. And I still love going back there. And yet our conversation was around this idea of, we all have to have a place to go to whether that’s, I guess, a little nook area in your home, um, whether it’s a park in the city, um, whether it’s, you know, really anything where it brings you calm and peace and for today’s discussion, let’s, let’s talk about this idea of forest bathing. So forest bathing from what I’ve read is a really great for your health. And it comes from a Japanese, um, Japanese term called and forgive me if I’m not pronouncing this correctly, but Shinran Yoku and Shinran in Japanese means forest and Yoku means bath. And so it means to bathe in the essence and the energy of the actual forest. Um, so it’s taking the time to have a sensory experience.
So chances are you’ve walked through the woods. And let me ask you a few questions. When you were walking through the woods, did you have your phone on, were you caught up in, um, worry or rumination or your to-do list? Yeah, that’s not forest bathing. So for what I understand from what I’ve read forest bathing is really leading the phone behind choosing to almost imagine a doorway. And by the way, this can be done in your garden, in your backyard, in a city park, in the woods, heck maybe even down at the beach user, just somewhere in nature, it doesn’t have to be a quote unquote magical mystical forest. And yet it’s making a conscious and intentional decision to almost imagine this is what I have in my mind right now, imagining a door that leads into kind of like a fairytale lion witch and the wardrobe kind of thing, where there’s a door that leads into that forest or into the park.
And when you enter that door, you leave behind technology, your phone, you leave behind the worries of the day and you just simply be, and you walk through and you notice with your senses, what do I see? What do I hear? What do I actually taste when the wind or the snow or the rain, you know, touches my mouth or my lips? What do you feel? Do you feel the, do you see the sunlight through the branches or maybe the Moonlight? Do you smell the fragrance of, of what’s around you of the nature of the trees of the grass. He just take in all of the beauty and the freshness and the liveliness of this. And in fact, even if you want to, you can actually take a forest, an actual bath. They say by laying down, just lie down on the ground. I’ll do that over the park, across from my condo down here, downtown Milwaukee.
And I’ll just kind of lay down in the summertime on the green grass. And it’s just a whole new perspective to drink it all in. And when we’re, when we do that, when we activate the senses through forest bathing, guess what your sixth sense of intuition of that intellectual, uh, intellect of the gut, right? That instinctual intelligence is probably more likely to come alive. In fact, when you forest bathe walking through the park or the woods, you could almost, well, not almost you are when you’re tapping into your five senses of sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. What you’re doing is you’re tapping into the instinctual, kind of like the animal part of you, I guess you could say, and don’t animals have a wonderful instinct. Ugh. I have a story to share. So last night I was sitting on my new window seat in my Bay window, in my, in my condo.
And I was sitting up there with birdie and I was, um, her hips have been a little tight lately. So I was giving her a little massage and she was loving it. And all of a sudden I looked outside and it was like 10 o’clock at night. And so it was just the streetlamps on, and I could see the park across the street and there’s a dog like a dog trotting down the path into the park, but actually actually he’s coming towards my condo building and I’m like, Oh my gosh, there’s no one out there. There’s no one out there. Um, what the heck, I better get going. I was, I knew I was getting ready to go down and try to rescue the dog. And then all of a sudden I stopped and I looked at his tail and I looked at his gate and I thought, cause I’m pretty familiar with coyotes.
It was a coyote downtown Milwaukee, like I’m in the heart of downtown and there, that little bugger was distraught. And along like he owned the place. He came out of the woods in the forest, or I’m sorry in the park. And my heart was just racing. I thought, cause there was traffic going by, not a lot because it was 10 o’clock at night, but I thought, Oh my God, is he going to get hit by a car? But that guy, he stood there at the corner at the stoplight kind of looking left and right. Figuring out what to do and just kind of trotted around, back into the woods, came back out, try to duck, try to down the sidewalk. It was like, he knew not to go in the street. And I thought now there is a city coyote and he had, he has adapted to his surroundings and using his instincts.
And actually we can be like that coyote, whether we’re in a city park or whether we’re in the hinterland, out in the forest. And so because we have that part of us, when we tap into our instincts, when our instincts are allowed to be, to come alive, those senses of, you know, of, of, of our sight, our smell, our tastes are hearing our touch. All of that becomes elevated and activated when we leave the technology behind, even if it’s for a 20 minute forest bathing. And when we leave the technology behind, because that’s just kind of clouding our intuition and clouding this ability to deeply connect to ourselves and to nature. It’s so cool. You can come out of that forest bath with a renewed sense of purpose answers, to your questions, all the rumination and the worry that you might have walked into when you came to the door, that imaginary door in the park or the forest, or even your garden outside.
Even if you have, if you, if you live in a, in a neighborhood and you just have a little, um, like a cute little patio outside, or just a little, little bit of a grass outside, you can imagine a doorway and you just walk out there and you just be with the sounds of the birds and the warmth of the sun or the snow falling or whatever you’re experiencing. And chances are when you end those 20 minutes or even just five minutes and you energetically leave the quote unquote for us and come back through that imaginary door. Chances are, you’re going to be closer to the answers that you were seeking before you did your forest bathing. So I think this is a really cool idea and it brings me back to one of my favorite Netflix shows as, uh, Anne with an E. And it’s all about Anne of green Gables.
Have you read those books when you were younger? Um, you know, she, she lives in the woods like in all of her free time and she’s friends with the Fox and friends with, you know, the owl and she builds forts with her friends and, you know, it’s just tapping into and she’s very, um, you know, she’s full of imagination and in this odd wonder for life for the simple pleasures of life. And when we can tap into that, even again, 20 minutes a day, I started doing that recently without even thinking about it. I started thinking, why am I carrying my phone with me on a walk, unless I want to listen to a podcast, but other than that, why am I like I should be with birdie, my dog. And I should be with the people around me and I should be taking in the beauty of just being outside.
And I can tell you it’s really changed my vibe for the day when I come back in, because I take birdie on a walk in the morning and it just centers me. So that’s, you know, that just going outside, you can pretty much put that in the bucket of forest bathing. So try that this weekend. If he gets some time, if it’s really cold where you’re at, then bundle up. That’s what snow pants are for. Go grab some snow shoes or rent some cross country skis and, and hop out in nature and see how it changes. You see how it revives you last week. And I was feeling just a little sluggish. I thought, am I getting sick? What’s going on? I thought, you know what, Meg buck up and you’re going to the park. And so I packed up birdie and I went over to this beautiful park here in Milwaukee.
It’s a larger one. And I walked with her for about 20, 25 minutes. And I just felt invigorated from the cold weather and she felt good. And it was like, my whole vibe changed. So check out some forest bathing. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Okay. And, and how does forest bathing help us stop rushing? It’s a great way to start the day or end the day. Um, and it, it just, it calms your nervous system down. And when our nervous system is calmed down, we’re less apt to rush because where’s the fun and rushing. I don’t know about you, but it really does steal my peace. Okay. Oh, and PS, there are actually places that you can go retreats for forest bathing, where apparently you go out on hikes and you know, they have lunches prepared and it’s a whole experience. So if you just Google forest bathing, you’ll find that.
And there’s also a good a book that you can check out. It’s called forest bathing. How trees can help you find health and happiness by Dr. Gang li. So again, um, I’ll put all of this on, on the episode notes and this’ll be included in my bolt, in my blog, which is the, basically the, the transcript of this podcast. Okay. Let’s hop on to number two. And this is one of my favorites. I was introduced to this several years ago by a friend of mine. And I thought, you want me to go aware? She said, yeah, we’re going to gong therapy. I’m like, I’m sorry, isn’t that like the show from the seventies, the gong show, and guess what it was, it was like a big gong. So she takes me to this little room with probably 20 people and everyone’s lying on the floor and I’m like, well, what is going on?
And there’s this huge, literally like a gong from the gong show. So we get cozy and the woman starts just really banging on that gong. I mean, it was loud and I thought, this is crazy. How am I going to relax? How is this even relaxing? It is so loud. Guess what? Within five minutes I was out, I fell asleep. I woke up 15 minutes later and I felt like I had slept 10 hours. And, um, this was several years ago. And now I understand that there’s something about the sound resonance, how it, um, again, it calms your nervous system. There’s a whole, um, ex explanation around sound healing like gong therapy, singing bowls at, I am certainly not an ex expert by any means. I am just sharing, uh, this idea with you and you can take it from here. Um, but that was my first experience in this idea of sound healing.
And then I started going to this other, um, community. It’s a woman here in Milwaukee who hosts sound healing sessions. And you sit in these gravity chairs and there would be several people in the group. And she had all of these chimes and just different, smaller instruments that she would play. So it was like a beautiful song for like an hour. And she would speak and guide you through this guided meditation with the sounds plain. And it, and again, beautiful, just beautiful, uh, to some funny stories, you know, that I took friends and neighbors to, and you know, some people loved it and some people were like, yeah, I’m not going back. That’s not for me. But again, if you feel like your life is pulling you in, rather than you managing your life, if you feel overwhelmed or stressed, if you feel too much lately, just check it out.
There’s lots of, you can probably find sound healing, zoom calls, and things online. Uh, you can probably download guided meditations with sound healing. Um, I highly encourage you now, my friend who took me to my first gong, actually, you know what guys it’s called a gong bath. Huh? I forgot that it’s yeah. Sound healing, I think is the overarching term. And one of the routes with sound healing is this gong bath. So we got the forest bathing and now we have the gong bathing and my friend who first introduced me to, um, to this idea of sound healing and my first gong bath session, she actually gifted me a beautiful one of her singing bowls several years ago. And I think I’ve talked about that in previous episodes about how I, I use that in the morning where I just give it one little tap and it’s a beautiful song sound that just goes for about 30 seconds.
And it, it the start to my day, and then I’ll do it at night. The end of my day, you guys know what I’m talking about. It’s the little chime a lot of times in meditations, if you’ve listened to them online. Um, and so you can incorporate sound healing in so many ways in your life. Um, and let’s take it a step further outside, more of the actual singing bowls and, and the gong baths. What sounds do you have going on in your home? You know, do you have all the TVs on, and if that works for you, that’s great. I just invite you if th if that’s how it’s always been to try something different, maybe turn off the television when you’re not actually listening to it. And listen, I love hallmark and I love Downton Abbey. So if I’m cleaning my condo or just doing stuff around the place and organizing and moving furniture, as I love to do, I’ll have reruns of Downton Abbey plane, or I’ll have the hallmark channel on, you know, I do that.
I’m just saying sometimes when it’s just too much, when there’s just too much stimuli in your environment, just try turning off the television and just have silence, or maybe even just have some beautiful soothing music on in the background and see how that helps. I think, you know, we’re just inundated with a lot of sounds during the day. And sometimes we rush because we get so our nervous system, at least this is my experience when my nervous system gets so revved up from too much stimuli that I feel like I got a rush, I got a rush, I got a rush. And then I stop myself and I’m like, okay, turn off the TV, turn off the music, calm down, and just look at your schedule for the day. Actually, you don’t have to rush. Okay. Number three. And this again is something that I tried see.
I have friends that invite me to these things and introduce me to all of us. And I’m just so grateful for that. And you’ve probably tried this, and if you haven’t, I highly encourage it. The third unique way to stop rushing is to start practicing breath work. Now, this is still a little bit of an elusive concept to me. And yet I did do an hour and a half session a few years ago at this yoga studio where it was this intense breathwork class. That was amazing when I was halfway through it. I thought I want to get out of here. This is kind of hard, but at the end I felt like someone injected me with happy, like bubbles and energy. And I was literally on a happiness high. I can’t even begin to tell you. And so the breath work, this was a pretty intense class where you’re doing like, you know, these, um, breath exercises, like, you know, from your, from your diaphragm and then, you know, holding one nostril and breathing in and the breathing out of the other and, and, you know, vice versa.
Um, just really in like interesting ways of using the power of your breath, because our breath is our life. How often do you go throughout the day? And you were like, did I even breathe today? When you’re rushing? You don’t have time to breathe. A lot of times when I’m rushing, I’ll I I’m, uh, I breathe in my chest area and I’m trying to breathe deeper down into my diaphragm and do deeper breaths. And it’s just fascinating. Sometimes they’ll be like, when was the last time I took a deep breath? And so if you haven’t checked out breath, work, check it out, Google it again, there’ll be classes online. There’s a gentleman down in Florida, it’s called the Vedic health retreat. Um, and that is spelled a U I’m sorry, a Y U R V E D I C. Okay. No one even listened to that or wrote it down.
I’m sure I’ll include this. I’ll include this in the link. It’s the Irv to health retreat every morning, every morning at I believe six, 15:00 AM central time. Cause he’s done in Florida. So at seven 15 East coast time, he does an hour long class that includes breath, work and meditation, and then education on IRA, Vedic, you know, an Ayurvedic way of living, which you can that’s for a whole nother podcast, but just, you know, feel good, kind of live in is what I say. You know, the things that you eat and, you know, your meditation and your breath work and all of that. And so that’s a really great introduction into breathwork with, I believe his name is Richard and, um, I’ll include the link on that. Uh, and it’s just amazing though, when we really pay attention and just an easy way to begin paying attention to your breath is, um, using things during the day as cues.
For example, if the phone rings, that’s your cue to take a deep breath, you know, if you’re driving and you get to a stoplight, use that as your cue, um, maybe in the morning and at night when you wake up and when you go to bed, just take a couple of three deep breaths and I’ll share with you one of my favorite, my favorite, um, breath work, I guess you could say, um, easy peasy tools that I’ll use when I can’t fall back asleep, or even during the day when I’m stressed out. And I, I learned it from Dr. Andrew Weil, if you’ve heard of him, he’s that nutrition, health doctor with a big beard. And he opened a bunch of restaurants throughout the country called true food. Anyway, it’s four, seven, eight. So you breathe. So you empty your diaphragm. So you just, you can do it with me if you’d like, so you just breathe out, do you just empty, you know, empty your body of your breath.
And then you breathe in on four, really deep from your diaphragm, one, two, three, four, and then you hold it for seven one two three four five, six, seven. And then you decide who should out of your mouth for eight one two three four five six, seven, eight. And when you, when you, when you exhale, you’re really just like, Oh, pushing it down through your chest and then down through your diaphragm and just pushing it, pushing that oxygen out. So it’s you breathe in on four, hold it for seven and then we’ll shoot out an eight and just push all of that, all of it out of your diaphragm in and out of your mouth and what it does, is it just, again, slows your nervous system down, calms you down? I’ll use this when I wake up in the middle of the night, I’ll do like maybe two or three rounds of it.
The next thing I know it’s the morning, like four hours later. It is my full poop, full fool. Yeah. Fool proof trick. Um, and so you can check out any kind of breathwork that works for you. And, you know, in terms of, again, how does this relate to rushing? Well, when we’re rushing, we’re probably not breathing. So when you rush to stop for a second, and even if you don’t have time to do the four, seven, eight Trek, just take a deep breath and breathe out. That’s the best way to just recenter, regroup, and just rest your body for a second. Nothing’s wrong with taking a break, you know, in this day and age, we’re on zoom calls back to back, you know, work phone calls, step away, go in the other room for 30 seconds and just breathe.
Our breath is probably our most powerful asset that we have to calm our bodies down any, yes, there are so many other things like exercise and nutrition and sleep. And yet I just wanted to cover today, does three different and unique ways to stop rushing. So go take a forest bath, try out a gong bath. If you can, if you’re open to that, I love it by the way, I can’t wait until, uh, Leanne here in Milwaukee, um, starts back with her with her in-person sessions. Um, there’s something really cool about being with other people and the energy and all of that. And then, and then practice your breath, work, pay attention to your breathing. And I would love to hear from you actually on other unique ways, cause I’m always open to new and different ways of creating more of the sense of contentment in our life.
Um, and so I’m so glad that you chose to be with me today and Oh, the lovely little thing for this week, my simple pleasure has been, I have become so, uh, w I’ve become so immersed in the French shows on Netflix. And the one, the most recent one I’m watching is call my agent. And it’s like, uh, it’s like the French version of Hollywood and all the agents. And it’s really funny. And I just, I don’t know. It’s just fun to watch shows that, um, have a different flare. They’ve got that French flare and just, just the mindset and the wardrobes and the food, just everything. So that’s called call my agent. And then the second one is looping. I think I’m pronouncing it right. L U P I N. And that is fantastic. And on Lupino you can loop in, you can switch it to English subtitles, unfortunately on call my agent.
You can’t. However, okay. What I found is that when they don’t offer English subtitles, I’m more present with the show I’m with the show. I’m not rushing around trying to do this, trying to do that and listen to the movie. And when, you know, when, when you’re able to switch it to the, um, English audio, and by the way, it doesn’t sound the same because it’s not the actual actor or actress speaking because they’re speaking in French. So it’s, it’s not even as good. And that’s what I love about it too, is like, you’re really present. So last night I sat down for a good hour and a half and just was watching the show and just delighting in the storyline and, and just that whole French way of living and the way of looking at life. So I highly encourage those encouraged you, or I invite you to watch those two shows on Netflix. All right. My friends that’s it for this week. I hope that you have a wonderful day and I’ll see you very, very soon. Bye-bye.