Learning When to Slow Down

Written by: Nick Ortner

John Lubbock quote

I hope you had a fantastic July 4th weekend (and if you’re reading this from somewhere around the world, a great weekend even if it wasn’t a holiday!). This summer has been quite different for me than summers past, and I wanted to share a few thoughts about what summer really is, what it means to slow down and let go, what to do when you can’t, and how all this is so important to your health, wellbeing, and life!

After a very busy winter and spring, with our 6th annual Tapping World Summit, finishing up my book on Pain Relief (due out in April of 2015), and then launching Jessica’s new book (which if you hadn’t heard hit #4 on the NY Times bestseller list!), I felt like I needed a bit of a break.

So with the World Cup around the corner, (I’m a huge soccer fan-especially since I was born in Argentina!), I said to myself: “I’m going to slow down a bit this summer”

Now, these things are easier said than done. I think many of us know that perhaps it would serve to slow down a little bit, but it feels so hard to do. It’s like something is tugging at us inside that goes, “GO! GO! GO!” But is it really something that’s tugging us inside… or is it something external, some other factor pushing us to be non-stop?

So I started paying attention to this, to determine the parts of my life that were just running a little too fast and here’s what I started noticing:


The Overstimulation of Modern Culture

1. Our brains, nervous systems, mind, body, spirit, whatever you want to call it, is just simply too amped up. The stimulus we receive, in the form of texts, Facebook, TV, emails, demands on our time and more are something we have NEVER experienced in the history of mankind.

Let me repeat that: Never have we experienced such a constant stimulus from so many directions. Ever. We haven’t even come close. Never have we had so much information at our fingertips. Never had we had so many choices to make – micro-decisions that might seem small, but add up in dramatic ways. Part of the reason your mind is racing at night, part of the reason you feel overwhelmed, part of the reason it’s hard to take a deep breath is there is simply too much going on in your brain!

I started noticing that for myself, that there were too many things to check on my phone, too many emails to respond to, and too many decisions to make. I run a business with about 15 employees, and just about every project runs through me in some way shape, or form. On top of that, we have outside business relationships, partners, experts I talk to, and so forth, and I just became very aware of how much it all was and the energy it was taking to keep up with all of it.

Slow Down, Even When Life is Moving Fast

Additionally, there’s SO much opportunity right now to grow and share this message, and I have such a deep and abiding passion for it, that it was becoming all too easy to say, “YES” to a million things. From speaking engagements to new social media platforms, it sometimes feels like it ALL needs to be done.

But guess what? It doesn’t.

The world will continue spinning if you don’t check Facebook today.

Your life will be fantastic even if you’re not on Pinterest.

Your business will be just fine even though you skip the next great thing.

And people will be OK if you say, “No thank you” to them.

We don’t have to do it all, we don’t have to do it NOW.


Simplifying to De-stress and De-clutter

So I’ve made a choice, and it’s one I’m still working on, to simplify. To do the things I love. To leverage my time. To cut down and cut out distractions. To clean up my email box and unsubscribe from things I wasn’t reading, from communications that were cluttering my world.

It’s a new thing, computer clutter, and communication clutter. It used to just be about the messy extra bedroom, now our clutter has gone virtual!

So today, take a look around and ask, what can I clean up in my life? What can I say no to, gracefully? What better choice can I make for my own personal wellbeing? And you don’t have to do it all at once? But just start.


The Challenge of De-stressing in an “Amped Up” World

2. When we are used to running in this “amped” upstate, it can be too much of a jump to go from there, to the meditative, peaceful bliss that we might be longing for. Here’s what I see happen often: Someone comes to me with a challenge, physical, emotional, spiritual, they’re stressed out, overwhelmed, and running way too fast and when they begin looking for solutions to the problem, they’re doing it from that place.

And here’s the problem: The state of being, the psychology, the way of thinking, the actions that got you where you are today…you can’t use that same state of being, same psychology, same way of thinking to get out of it!

If you’re a perfectionist, you can’t change your perfectionism by approaching it with perfectionism! (Wrap that loop around your head!). Being stressed out and Type A about relaxing isn’t going to do the job. Being overwhelmed about having to tap more is not going to get you there.


Making a Leap in Consciousness

You need to make a LEAP, a leap in consciousness but you have to make sure it’s not TOO big.

Let me explain. If you’re running a million miles a minute, and then you STOP, and say, “Time to meditate!” what happens? You either don’t because you can’t stop, it’s too big of a change in your state of being, you try and “fail” because you just can’t sit still for the 30 minutes you said you would for, and then you get up and are disappointed at yourself all over again for “failing” at this task.

The alternative? Baby steps. Yup, just like one of my favorite movies that I’ve written about before, “What About Bob?” – it’s all about baby steps.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by saying, “I’m going to meditate for 30 minutes today!” – set yourself up for success by saying you’re going to do it for 5 minutes, or even 60 seconds. Start with these baby steps, start with these little victories so you can gain confidence in yourself, so you can make smaller, more manageable leaps, so your body, mind, and spirit can take the time it needs to catch up to this new way of being.


A Tapping Script to Begin to Calm the Nervous System…

To get you started, here’s a very short tapping script, should only take a few minutes to complete, that can begin to calm the nervous system, and bring more peace and clarity into your life.

If you’re not familiar with how to tap, learn more here:

To get started, close your eyes and take a deep breath (after reading the rest of the instructions of course!). Tune in to your body, tune in to your breath, feel your feet grounded on the floor, and notice any tension or stress you might be holding in your body. Tune in to one specific part that is speaking to you right now, your shoulders, your neck, your stomach, your brain, some part that feels tension and stress. And then ask yourself, “What’s this all about? What’s the emotion here? What’s the specific event that is in my body? What’s the fear or limiting belief I’m holding there?”

And when you have an answer, rate its intensity on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the most intensive.

And let’s do some tapping!

The Script

Karate Chop: Even though I’m holding on to all this tension in my body….I love, accept, and forgive myself…
Karate Chop: Even though I have so much stress and tension in my ______ and it has to do with_________, I choose to relax and feel safe now….
Karate Chop: Even though it’s so hard to slow down, to let go, to release this stress and tension from my body, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Tapping through the points now:

Eyebrow: All this stress and tension
Side of Eye: That I’ve been holding on to
Under Eye: And that seems too hard to let go
Under Nose: I wonder what it’s all about
Under Mouth: And I wonder why I’m holding on
Collarbone: Feeling this tension in my body
Under Arm: About this stressful issue
Top of Head: About this belief…this event…this emotion

Eyebrow: All this tension
Side of Eye: And this inability to relax
Under eye: What if I could relax?
Under Nose: What if could let this go?
Under Mouth: What would it mean to slow down?
Collarbone: What if it was safe to relax?
Under Arm: Feeling safe in my body
Top of Head: And relaxing and letting go

Eyebrow: It’s time to relax
Side of Eye: I’ve been holding on to this issue for so long
Under eye: And it’s time to let it go
Under Nose: It’s safe to relax
Under Mouth: It’s safe to feel safe in my body
Collarbone: And let go of all this stress and anxiety
Under Arm: Especially around this specific issue
Top of Head: Letting it all go

Eyebrow: I wonder what my life would be like if I relaxed some more
Side of Eye: I wonder what ideas and inspirations might come to me
Under eye: I wonder how much better I might feel
Under Nose: How much healthier my body would be
Under Mouth: If I just relaxed and let go
Collarbone: If I trusted my guidance and intuition
Under Arm: And began to relax and let go
Top of Head: Right now

Take a deep breath in… and let it go… tune back into your original issue and see how it’s shifted.

What’s the number now? What else came up? Any other specific events/emotions/beliefs? Tap on those until this issue is cleared and you feel your body relaxing and letting go more. As always, this is just a very general tapping script to get you started so continue on your own if you’d like to go deeper.


Back to my lazy summer

So all that being said, I’ve had a fantastic summer so far (and it’s just getting started!). The World Cup has been absolutely magical to watch (though I must admit that my stress levels during several Argentina and USA games have been…ahem…less than ideal. I think I need to do some tapping on that…).

I’ve made it a point to get outside more, to spend time with friends and family, to cut down on distractions and be more present with myself and those around me. I’ve got another two months to keep practicing, so I’ll let you know what happens, and please do the same! Comment below and share any thoughts, insights, or ideas, on how the tapping was for you, on what helps you slow down and relax, on some new choices you might be making.

As promised, here’s one of my favorite pictures ever. I think it really encapsulates what summer and relaxing were, and should be. It’s my wife Brenna with the two-year-old daughter of a close friend, having a leisurely chat by the pool. Now that’s summer. 🙂


“I almost wish we were butterflies and lived but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”
— John Keats,

Keep Tapping,

Nick Ortner


What did this article bring up for you?  What have your stress levels been like this summer?  Comment below and let me know!  

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51 Comments on this post

  1. Pamela says:

    Absolutley invaluable. It facilitated my own permission to stop, breathe and become centred again.

    I love these tapping transcripts…is it please, please possible to make them available for download,
    to assist us with our tapping progress (it helps overcome “I don’t know what to say/what words to use”).

    With Gratitude and Blessings…Pamela.

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