slow down

Slow down.

I keep hearing it over and over and over again.

Slow down.

2014 has been a whirlwind. Already. It's January 20th and I've been in over my head since this year started.

I have to remind myself to breathe most of these days.

Literally. Like, "Kelly - BREATHE!" In through your nose, out through your mouth.

I'll be driving and will forget. My body will stop doing it automatically for me. It'll occur to me, "Hey, I haven't breathed in like forty-five seconds." Or a minute. Or a couple of minutes. And I'll have to take a forced inhalation, exhalation. Do some mini pranayama breathing, hot yoga-style. The breath is audible... as you listen to it, you're more likely to focus on it and remain present. Resist the urge to allow your mind to wander out of these four walls.

Ever since that ball dropped and Drew kissed me at the stroke of midnight, I've been running a marathon of life and work. Laura's wedding. EB show. TSE. Teach yoga. Secure an office. Mollify new clients. Meet new clients. Offer and start an internship over the course of one week.

Would you like to know how many days I have had in 2014 to not think about work, do something work related, or actually work? Zero.

That's not exactly setting boundaries.
That's not exactly doing my job well.
That's not actually serving my clients well.
That's certainly not serving God or my husband well.

I am stressed. I am anxious. Whenever I get in these stressful situations I always have trouble breathing. My body goes into fight-or-flight mode and stops doing normal things like breathing subconsciously. It's so focused on preparing to fight the cheetah or swim hundreds of feet against a strong water current (because I obviously need to, since duh, why else would I be sending all those stress signals to my brain?) that it can't do normal things anymore. It makes me incapable of taking deep breaths (just short and shallow forced ones). I get absolutely single-sighted and 1,000% focused on "just get through this and this and this and this and this."

I haven't said no to the things that don't matter this year.

Even to things or people or opportunities that aren't a great fit. Or don't really work with my schedule.

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES I WILL DO EVERYTHING AND THEN SOME, THANK YOU PLEASE GIVE ME MORE!

I know better. I know that in order to be the best wedding planner, the best wife, the best friend, the best person I can be, I have to give my time wisely to what I can, and not to what I can't.

So I am going to intentionally slow down. It's January 20th. 11 more days left of the first month of the year. I have a couple of hard deadlines to hit and inevitable scheduling blocks in the way, but I am going to take a little more time to breathe. To rest. To be a wife. To decompress. To distance myself from electronics and time-consuming projects. To start going back to yoga.

today earlier in the brand new KDE HQ!

today earlier in the brand new KDE HQ!

There are so many exciting things coming up in the world of KDE. For example, that aforementioned office. Yeah, did you get that? I HAVE AN OFFICE! THERE IS A KELLY DELLINGER EVENTS HEADQUARTERS! A physical space of everything KDE loveliness!!!!!! I have been stressing myself out night and day over every last detail of that place without ever appreciating the fact that I HAVE it, so I'm finally going to take a step back and acknowledge the amazing reality that it exists. PRAISE GOD!!!!


 

God is so good. So, so good. His blessings abound. He's been so good to put the right people in my life lately to give me hugs, encouragement, and reality checks. I'm so grateful to have an amazing intern, a supportive family, and so many insanely awesome opportunities.

Stay tuned for more fabulousness in the weeks to come! And a little more quiet time, too. 

Ain't in no hurry 
I'd be a fool now to worry 
About all those things I can't change 
And the time that I borrow 
Can wait till tomorrow 
Cause I ain't in no hurry today

(Brown, Durrette, and Otto)

love, light, and calm,

KD

staying present

I've learned a lot through years of practicing yoga. One lesson in particular has been awareness: feeling the ground beneath my feet.  So much of human life is spent running through autopilot -- going through the motions, "getting through" life.  Bearing it.  Enduring it. 

It's so easy to always be focusing on one step ahead. You're in a relationship? Dream of getting engaged. You're engaged? Dream of finally being married. You're married? Kids, dogs, house, career... everything has to be checked off a list ASAP and done in haste. Hurry up and die. 

I know I'm being dramatic, but really... think about it. Personally, I'm totally guilty of numbing myself to reality. I live in my head. Especially as a designer/creative/right-brained person, it makes sense to live the confines of my own imagination. But it comes at a cost -- you live in your head, you miss what's in front of your eyes. 

Sometimes having too many choices can feel absolutely paralyzing. (This is definitely true for couples planning a wedding. Can I get a hear, hear brides?)  Figuring out what to do with our lives, how to spend our time, how to spend our money (if we have money), how to plan-plan-plan our futures. It can get to be so much that we just shut down. We turn to drinking, to overeating, to shopping, to telling ourselves lies and trying to beat them (just to pass the time), whatever can fill that sinking feeling of sheer overwhelmingness. We turn off our brains and go through the motions, endure life without living it, and half-heartedly wish for the best. 

And then we're in old age, having wasted our whole lives hoping to just get through it. 

I don't want to live that way. 

I want to feel the ground beneath my feet (or the chair, in my case, since I sit all funny when I type). I want to smell fragrant flowers and notice when leaves are blooming. I want to feel my emotions and accept them, move through them. I want to be alive and not just pretend like I'm living.

Sometimes it's hard. Really hard. Sometimes the things we have to accept in our daily walks aren't fun, aren't easy, aren't quick to get over. We get hurt. We see sadness. But part of the beauty of life is its complexity. Negative feelings color the way we feel positive ones. 

God calls us to do more than to "get through life." Yes, it may be the easy way out. But as Bikram Choudhury says (paraphrased): There is no choice; you must do everything the right way. And the right way is the hard way.

Playing during a photo session with  Alyssa Joy . (In Lilly, no less.) Because, why take life so seriously? 

Playing during a photo session with Alyssa Joy. (In Lilly, no less.) Because, why take life so seriously? 

Why don't we apply that to all aspects of life? Business, planning major life events (ahem, weddings), relationships, keeping our homes?  CHALLENGE ALERT!

My challenge for you and me:  Stay present today. Or tomorrow. One day this week. Or an hour out of every day. Look around and see what's before you. Have you ever noticed the ceilings in your grocery store or coffee shop? Who's around you? What do you feel, smell, hear, taste? What are you eating? Do you even enjoy it? If not, why are you eating it?  LIVE LIFE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't just scrape by.

 

Love and light, as my favorite Fahrenheit ladies say!
KD