Navigating the Vortex: Healthy pacing

By Gina M. Barrett.

What I discovered, immediately after moving to Crestone, was that I needed to adopt a slower way of being. The excitement of creating my dream ranch and the work involved often led to feeling dizzy when I moved too fast. During this entry period, I also took a six-month woman’s qigong (pronounced “chi gong”) certification training. The practice made me very dizzy and I had insomnia. I had qi dysfunction and had to adopt qi balancing practices. 

Moving fast is my nature. Many of us came from a faster-paced lifestyle. My understanding of the energy vortex here is that the energy generated in the crystals in the mountains flows down through the valleys and streams. It is moving in two different oblong circular directions, churning the energy like a blender. Moving fast does not serve. We are being invited to sit still, allow this energy to stir up what we came here to transform, notice the lessons and messages, and flow with the changes that are needed for our personal growth. 

Legend has it, the indigenous Utes came here to die. To me, that translates into rebirth.  Transformation. So many come here as master-level healers, thinking they are at a certain level of enlightenment. As soon as you think you have achieved enlightenment, you will have a short rest, be asked to share what you have learned, be tested, and/or asked to go to the next level. 

In this column, I share with you what I understand about the energy vortex, as well as practices that help to peacefully flow with the inevitable transformation cycles you will experience here. With understanding, you will have a better chance of living a more peaceful life here. 

Moving too fast in this energy vortex can cause symptoms like dizziness, nausea, insomnia, and vomiting. If you are engaged in a deep, energy-based practice, like kundalini yoga or vinyasa, you may need to shift to grounding practices and walk on the earth. Grounding and energy balancing qigong and yoga nidra can be helpful. Also, soaking in hot springs is helpful and there are many locally. 

In addition to the grounding practices that I discussed in my November 2023 article in The Crestone Eagle, the best way to manage the energy here is to slow down in all your activities.  This is especially true of using technology devices, which by nature speed up our pacing and imbalance and deplete qi, or life force energy. 

I was fortunate to have an assist from my rescue ponies. Training them to be equine therapy ponies and for pleasure riding has been a lesson in patience. This happened with a steady awareness of letting go of expectations and practicing nonattachment each time I ride. Last time I rode, we didn’t meet my desired goal. When I slowed down the pace of the horse’s training, I released her and she walked right next to me to the gate, like we were bonded as one. It was powerful and satisfying to say the least.  She showed me that I am learning patience and that there are rewards for that, including quality connection.  Horses also teach us to align with the pacing of nature. We are part of Her.  

This lesson in patience has transferred into all aspects of my life. I have always been an impulsive person. I get an idea and I act on it. Now, I slow down and reflect. I wait. By waiting, my ability to discern (make clear decisions that serve all involved) improves and life flows with more ease.

Last week, a small herd of female elk grazed across the street — always a sign that female ancestral community is supporting me. Perfect timing as I make a big shift to living alone again. The herds of female elk always remind me that I am making the right choice and will be supported. When we slow down here and study the symbolism of the animals that show up in our lives — cross our path — we can also learn a lot about our inner process. 

By working on yourself, you are healing the planet. As the country continues to divide, we are now being asked to create strong community, be selective, and discern the quality of those relationships. When you slow down, you can make clear decisions about who to surround yourself with in the coming years. Soon, we will all need each other more and more. Prepare by grounding, slowing down, and creating a routine that provides healthy pacing. An opening into the multidimensional world that is here for us, to guide us and to help us guide others.  

*These are suggestions and not meant to be a prescription for your individual needs. Practice with awareness and agency. Seek a medical professional to discuss options. Gina’s suggestions can be found in her free ebook, Connection Post Pandemic, 2nd edition of Lighter: Living Tantra. Gina M. Barrett, MIA, C-IAYT is an international author, trauma informed yoga therapist, somatic eastern movement educator, and equine therapist. 

To learn more about Gina and to receive her free ebook, visit

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