Break Through Your Threshold: Slowing Down – What’s next after quarantine? by Jai Maa

Break Through Your Threshold: Slowing Down – What’s next after quarantine? 
By Jai Maa

Take the time to slow down and reflect on what’s next after many months of quarantine — how will you emerge?

Blood began gushing down the stream the moment I stuck my foot into the creek. I slid down a muddy hill barefoot when a stick sliced into my heel like an arrow, ripping open my skin down to the meaty flesh. I had just offered my prayer to the woods, that the nature walk I had embarked on would open me up to deeper self-realization. My prayer opened me up, all right! My foot was split in a perfect triangle.

I watched my friends walk ahead of me as I staggered back to the cabin with my fiancé in pain. My sister close behind, I wondered whether I should be taken to the hospital to be stitched up. We cleaned out my wound, smothered my heel with Neosporin and bandaids, and then propped me up in bed so my foot could rest.

A woman looks out over a body of water. Source:

For the remainder of the weekend, I could hear my friends outside creating music together, and laughing and playing in the creek while I sat in bed unable to do anything but hobble around. I felt left out and had a lot of time to reflect on the self-realizations of my jarring experience.

I got—loud and clear—that I needed to slow down. 

Even when the world went topsy-turvy and we were asked to quarantine, I knew that slowing down was a gift being offered amongst the chaos. I had been subtly complaining for years that I needed a break, and would give anything if I could just stop my fast-paced life and do nothing. Now that I had been given that opportunity, I was busying myself in activities such as binge playing Scrabble GO on my phone for nine hours at a time or feng shui-ing every room in the house until there was nothing left to organize. I felt like a ceiling fan whose switch had gotten turned off, but the blades kept spinning. 

Now that I couldn’t walk, I had no choice but to slow down. I felt like I was missing out by not being able to play with my friends. I then began to ponder how much life I was missing out on by being distracted by activity. How many messages that can only be heard from the stillness of silence and meditation did I overlook while I was busy being busy?

For me, the perfect triangular split gash in my foot symbolized a fork in the road. Would I continue to stay on the same track and create the same results, or was I willing to shift something within myself in order to embrace a new trajectory? 

Until now, life has been rich and deeply satisfying, almost to the point of complacency. It would be easy to continue life as it is, and yet, my heart is drawing me to the next life-purpose adventures, which absolutely terrify me. I am confronted with a choice and nowhere to run—literally. Who do I want to emerge as when the world opens back up again? Will I receive the gift of slowing down, and listen to that quiet inner voice that beckons me to be even more of my greatest self?

Who will you be? Will you remain the same, or emerge with your light shining brighter than ever before?

Enlightenment Challenge: Begin each day sitting still with no distractions for 10 minutes. If you would like to give your mind something to focus on, close your eyes and quietly say what you are thankful for.