That's what everyone told me to expect about my wedding day.
I heard it over and over, and I decided I wanted it to be different. I wanted to enjoy the day to the fullest and have it feel spacious. I wanted to remember all of it.
In my work, I often record hypnosis tracks and guided visualizations for my clients. I email the recording to them so they can listen to it as often as they want.
I decided to record my own hypnosis track.
I knew what I needed. I wanted to be grounded, present and "in my body". I wanted to feel relaxed and not let stress hormones get the best of me.
Once I had my track I listened to it 3 times before the wedding. I especially made a point to listen to it in bed the night before, and first thing when I woke up on our wedding day.
Throughout the day, I witnessed myself breathing deeply, savoring every moment.
For instance, I remember...
... sitting quietly in the family room at the inn that morning, tweaking my vows.
... enjoying mimosas while we got our hair and makeup done.
... standing inside the barn (we got married at the Old Lantern, a beautiful barn turned into an event space) watching people arrive for the ceremony outside, looking at all of the decorations, taking in the flowers, the table settings, the wedding favors, the cake and cupcakes, the pictures of our grandparents.
... having a special moment with each of my parents before the ceremony.
... looking at Justin's face as I walked down the aisle and the feeling of our hands holding throughout the ceremony. I remember our vows and our laughter. I remember where people stood or sat as they witnessed our being married. I remember the ring-bearers playing with the flowers along the aisle, and the sound of my cousins singing.
I remember almost every passing moment of our wedding day.
At one point, well into the dance party, I stood on the dance floor and looked around. I took a deep breath and thought, "this is perfect, I'm happy and I'll be ready for it to end when it's time."
You know what's most remarkable about all of this?
That's typically NOT what happens to me at my parties. I am always SO happy and so effervescent -it's how I describe what happens to us extroverts when we're out-of-body with the excitement of a party- that I never remember the majority of the party.
My parties always flash by and I always feel that they ended too soon.
But my wedding day did not flash by.
My self-hypnosis track helped me program myself to be present; to breathe; to take it all in and savor each moment. I am beyond happy that I did that.
It gets me thinking that beyond just my wedding, this applies to my everyday life... and probably your life too.
Aren't we constantly complaining about "how time is flying by"? How busy we are? How we can't get everything done anymore?
I am becoming increasingly convinced that our "lack of time" is simply a lack of presence, because I dramatically experienced the opposite on my wedding day.
THE "SECRET" TO GETTING TIME TO SLOW DOWN IS PRESENCE.
I find that the most significant disruptors to my level of presence in my everyday life include:
When I go on social media without a plan or time boundary. I lose myself in it.
Having email open and my cellphone nearby. Every incoming email or text message is a tempting distraction.
Pretending that I can multitask
Leaving countless windows open on my computer - a part of me wants to believe this is more efficient, but it creates an incredible amount of screen clutter (and mental clutter.)
Not having a plan or structure to my day. Part of the reason why I was able to enjoy such spaciousness on my wedding day is that I had created a plan for the day and I delegated every single thing on the list. There was no fretting, rushing or wondering what needed to be done.
I am taking my own lesson to heart and will share with you some of the things I've revived in my daily routine:
Starting the day with presence - meditation, breathing, journaling, whatever feels right each morning.
Creating a structure for each day. My business strategy and marketing coach (Dave Buckland from Buckland Consulting) has a genius sheet laying out his critical priorities and tasks that keep him on track. I'm adapting it to my own style and it includes morning routines, email time, personal development time, client time, marketing time, etc.
Gifting myself better boundaries and more discipline around social media. I say "gift" intentionally so as to reframe what would seem like a restriction into a reminder that it serves me well to have boundaries around Facebook, Whatsapp, texting, etc.
The importance of taking 3-4-5 conscious, slow breaths cannot be overstated. I tell my clients all the time that slow, deep breathing is the ONLY thing we can do deliberately to instantaneously stop the fight-flight (stress) response in our body. Breathing fully and slowly immediately turns your nervous system out of fight-flight.
What about you?
Any personal things you've discovered help you be more present in your work, relationships and personal time?
I'd love to hear!