April 11, 2013

Can You Live the “Royal Pace,” Just for a Day?

We could never imagine the Queen of England running down the hall, racing to a meeting, or woofing down some fast food or a protein shake before a quick workout.

It would be out of character for her to lose her temper, get anxious and show visible signs of stress. To be a royal, they say, you must act like a royal, and to do that you must practice the “Royal Pace.”

I think we would all agree that our pace of life has just become way too fast. Too much to do and no time to do it. Soon, life itself becomes a struggle.

If you finish your day exhausted, crave sweets, caffeine, chips or a nap to get through the day or find yourself easily upset, nervous, anxious and always in a rush, I challenge you to live the “Royal Pace,” just for a day. If you like it, try it once a week.

Read more and learn how to make one day each week a royal day, where you get to be the king or queen of your castle and rule from a throne of silent and calm authority!


The Royal Pace

In this challenge, I am asking you to pick a day out of each week to live the “Royal Pace.” It’s simple, fun and challenging with nothing to lose and much to gain. After all, it is just one day. Invite your partner or friend to join you.

Here are the rules of the Royal Pace:

1.    Bedtime

The Royal’s Life

A royal would not be up at 1 a.m. surfing the web or cranking out some unfinished work. They would draw a bath around 8 p.m. and be in bed with a good book at 9 or 9:30 p.m.

Your Version

In preparation for your day on the royal pace, get to bed early. If possible, have the family, a partner or roommate do the dishes and draw an early bath. By 9 p.m., be in bed with a good book and be asleep by 9:30 or 9:45 p.m. Sounds easy, right?

2.    The Morning Routine

The Royal’s Life

A royal would wake up early after a refreshing night’s sleep and have extra time to do yoga, stretching, exercise and meditation before they sit down for a nice relaxing breakfast overlooking their kingdom.

Your Version

Wake up early after getting to bed early. This will give you time to go for a walk, enjoy exercise, do yoga and meditate. All of this can take as little as 15-20 minutes. Even just five minutes of yoga and 10 minutes of meditation will help you start your day in the royal pace. Do your best to sit down and have a relaxing breakfast. Invite your family, spouse, or those you live with to join you.

3.    Rushing

The Royal’s Life

A royal would never be seen rushing.

A royal would never be seen hurrying to get ready for a meeting or racing in and out of a store. The royal pace is a calm, slow, intentional pace that allows full awareness of everything you do throughout the day.

Your Version
Do your best to start this day a little early so you have plenty of time to get organized and ready to get to work, get the kids ready, eat breakfast and drive leisurely and calmly to work. There is an old saying: If you are not five minutes early, you are late. Being early to all your obligations on this day will allow you to stay in the royal pace with a sense of peace.

4.    Walking Meditation

The Royal’s Life

The royal is so good at not rushing and walking with awareness that they naturally experience a walking meditation, which means they are engaged in activity but calm and silent at the same time. I call this the co-existence of opposites, when the body is dynamically active but the mind is extremely serene. It is much like a hurricane—the bigger the eye (the calm), the more powerful the winds.

Your Version

Use the One Minute Meditation (below) throughout the day to remind you that you are on the royal pace. You can do this in your car before you go into the office, the grocery store, your kids’ school, or your home. Try to do the One Minute Meditation 10 times throughout your royal pace day—it adds up to only 10 minutes. This technique will deliver more oxygen into the brain, which immediately will stop the unnecessary thoughts, quiet the mind, and deflect the stress.

One Minute Meditation:

Breathe deeply in and deeply out through your nose with full maximal breaths. Breathe as deeply and as quickly as you can for 30 breaths. Then just sit still for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. (See video and article on the One Minute Meditation for detailed instruction).

5.    Do Not Raise Your Voice

The Royal’s Life

You would never hear a royal yelling, screaming or raising his or her voice. Anger is replaced with regal diplomacy and delegation.

Your Version

While on the royal pace, do not raise your voice. If something angers you, do your best to just let it go for the day. As a new royal with heightened awareness you can ask yourself, “What if I didn’t engage in this anger, what would I stand to lose?” You can take this further and realize that the anger is making you become a version of yourself that you are not particularly fond of. See if you can replace the anger with a gesture of compassion, affection, understanding, or love. If you get stuck, just ask yourself, “What would a royal do?”

6.    Dine Like a King or Queen

The Royal’s Life

A royal would take his or her meals at a fully set table. No cells phones, tablets, laptops, newspapers or magazines at the table. The purpose of a dining room is to dine. With full awareness, they taste and savor every bite. After the meal is done, they give themselves time to sit over tea, relaxing and digesting the meal.

Your Version

When you take your meals, relax and dine. No eating on the run or in front of the TV. If the thought of cooking triggers you to stress or rush, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, set a beautiful table, light a candle and enjoy a relaxing royal meal that you didn’t have to cook. Sit at the table after the meal to relax and digest over a cup of herbal tea and some good contemplation or conversation.

7.    Observe But Do Not Engage

The Royal’s Life

On this day you would find your favorite chair and open your favorite book.

When a royal is walking down the halls of his or her palace, they are completely aware of their surroundings. There may be some dust on a frame that the royal would notice, but they would never stoop to the level of saying anything about it. Later, they may inquire about the new maid.

Your Version

When you walk down the hall of your home, you may notice unmade beds or clothes on the floor. You may also see dirty dishes in the sink, but while on the royal pace you would not engage or become upset by the fact that your kids are slacking and not doing their chores. On this day you would find your favorite chair and open your favorite book. When you see one of your kids, just quietly ask them to come here for a minute. Quietly, calmly and gently ask them to take care of their room and the kitchen now before they continue to play. If they don’t do it, you can give them consequences the next day. But this day, make a point to stay above the rough.

8.    Be Totally Present

The Royal’s Life

When a royal engages in conversation, they sit, maybe over a cup of tea, and discuss the topic with full awareness and total focus on who they are speaking to and what they are saying. They listen carefully and respond with compassion and concern.

Your Version

When you have a conversation with your spouse, co-worker or child, try to be fully present. If possible, sit with them, listen to them, and respond with full awareness to what they are saying.

9.    Be a Benevolent Ruler

The Royal’s Life

It is the nature of a good royal to be concerned about their kingdom and the contentment of the people in it. This consideration and concern makes the royal a benevolent ruler—one that gives and loves rather than taxes and takes from their people.

Your Version

As a benevolent ruler on the royal pace, go through this day looking for the opportunities to give, care for and express love to others. It could be a phone call or text to your mother just to say, “I love you.” It could be leaving a royal note for your spouse telling them you love them. It could be reaching out to the cashier at the grocery store and complementing their new hairdo, big smile, or asking something personal about them. Giving of yourself to another person is a very royal act.

10.     Do One Thing at a Time

The Royals Life

A royal is never multi-tasking. He or she is either eating, meeting, greeting, relaxing, governing, consoling or sleeping. They are one-pointed and focused on the task at hand rather than thinking two or three tasks ahead or being concerned about what just happened. By doing one thing at a time and doing that well, they stay glued to the moment and are therefore more aware.

Your Version

Today, make an effort to not be a multi-tasker. Take each task one at a time and be totally present with it. Once a task is done, do not look back. If you have too much on your plate, only focus on one task, not the litany of chores to follow. When climbing Mt. Everest, they say it is one very slow and purposeful step at a time—all linked together. If the mind concerns itself about the steps ahead and is not present with the one at hand, on Everest there is a good chance there might not be future steps.

Be a Royal in the Game of Life

We are all playing the game of life. Often, we take this thing way too seriously. You can try the royal pace for just one day out of the 30,000 most of us live. Why not? You might find that, as a “royal,” you can actually do less and accomplish more, and maybe get a glimpse of something even more profound: the possibility of doing nothing and accomplishing everything. Think about that one. Enjoy your day as a Royal!


All photos courtesy of lifespa.com

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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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