When Your Inner Sloth Visits

by Carolyn Riker

Photographer: Mikail Duran via unsplash

I am not depressed but more like selectively choosing not to engage in a dramatic affair with life.

I call it my inner sloth.

Seasonal changes are like a giant toggle switch: I gather energy in spring and summer. By fall, I filter out the debris and prepare to slip into hibernation. I’m getting ready for winter.

I aim to seek balance though, as I dip a bit deeper into the long midnight blues. I chose to be quietly creative with myself. I cherish this space. I also crave copious amounts of dark chocolate that melodically dances with a cornucopia of words.

Meanwhile, my mind and body don’t do well from constant inertia. Therefore I coax myself to do semi-accelerated sun salutations to chase the chilly cobwebs from the dark corners. I have to listen and push myself along the riverboat in my mind to stay afloat.

It’s a lesson of self-love versus judging myself harshly, a perpetual cognitive awareness to balance my needs. I recently tapped into my tender sloth-like heart, and she shared some inner truths to assist in this seasonal navigation.

14 tidbits to stir in your coffee (or tea) when the sloth visits.

1. Spread kindness and love whenever you can. Reach out your fingertips and feel the energy flow. As you start sparking kindness it’ll lift the cloak of darkness. Love really is the answer.

2. Projections, my dear, are viral. Replaying the past will drown you. Get the bolt cutters and cut the chains of heaviness. Turn the emotional fanfare off and stop twitching at every little leaf that moves. Ground your inner wildebeest. Watch without attachment and let your mind settle into the quietness of an observer. The lake is a mirror and you are the image.

“Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. Always seek real. Speak from you heart and walk around the steaming piles of bubbling bullshit. No one is going to save or rescue you from the demons you fight. Many are fighting their own generous life lessons which include heaven and hell. Be gentle. Be kind. Speak softly. It’s often louder than a roar.

4. Be your own Sun and Moon. The Sun shines to keep you and every living thing alive. The Moon is the healing afterglow. You have both qualities within you. It’s a powerful alchemy and one you can tap into. You have the capabilities to catapult through space. Believe in the trajectory of your heartfelt intentions.

5. Life isn’t about cruise control. You are the driver and not the passenger. Get lost. Get found. There will be triggers. Lots of them. Watch. Look. Listen. Learn. But don’t sit there stewing in the brew. Change lanes: Avoidance has a kinship with procrastination. The pile-up effect can be debilitating.

6. Pull out your inner GPS, it is guided by your intuition. Set your compass to the four corners. Going one-way is incredibly boring.

7. Declare a rapture of your senses and sip raindrops from your eyelashes. Walk your fingertips along each vertebrae. Watch each hair follicle dance in the quiver of your aliveness.

She had to breathe in peace, for in peace she found the quiet solitude her heart had been aching for. In the moments between raindrops she let her focus dwell and the sound of silence comforted her more than an avalanche of superficial banter.

8. Let it out. When you see the monstrous waves of anxiety pouring in, swim out further to sea and settle into the fear. The part where you panic and dread is exactly where you need to tread. It’s the painful parts you try to stuff down an endless rabbit hole. If the road gets blurry, pull over. Take a few exquisite deep breaths. Breathe in freshness and flush the rest into a cosmic portal of silky white feathers.

9. Unstick yourself and dare to do what scares the hell out of you.

“And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.” ~ Paulo Coelho

10. Letting go is continuous. It’s not a one-time affair. It is a perpetual process of assimilation. Once one layer is shed, other one comes up. This is good because it means you are alive and well.

11. Quiet times are essential. It is necessary to step out of the drama of meaningless dribble and part the rain from the drops and melt into the puddles. Solitude is like water. Drink it, create it with no regret.

I dip gratefully into the sunshine and sip dew from the grass. I befriend nature and listen to the messages. I fly to the tops of branches and feel the hum of a hummer fluttering in my heart. In the speed of light, I see the patches of shade and dance lightly. I catch a wisp of a spider’s web and dangle between the echo and the silence. It is here I find a moment to fill my heart with joy.

12. Create a fire and ignite your inner flame. Laugh and dance to the rhythm of your joy and resonate the heat of your core creativity. Step outside of the normal and find your inner crazy. Reflect with gratitude the shifting kaleidoscope, is a part of YOU.

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams

13. Life is like a metaphorical handstand. At times, it can feel upside down, inverted and confusing until we kick up into the fear. Challenge yourself to balance the weight evenly by relaxing into the space of the unknown.

And above all…

14. Choose to live life as a miracle, because it is.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

{{Originally published on Rebelle Society, 2013, titled: 14 Tidbits To Stir In Your Coffee (Or Tea) When The Sloth Visits.}}