I know I have a lot of pauses in my life. Due to my physical issues and due to the lifestyle we lead, a pause is a natural thing. I admit that I frequently lean into it more greedily than I need to or ought to. I feel weary too often and too willing to rest and to set things aside.
I have spent long hours castigating myself for setting things aside, pushing things off to Future Me, deciding things can wait until later, or whenever.
Then newsletters showed up in my inbox. YouTube began to recommend videos for me. I stumbled onto blogs. Books were recommended to me.
All about the same thing.
Pause is a necessary part of any venture.
Especially if you have been working so long towards one goal and the Universe has been shifting things for you when you weren’t looking.
After reading, after watching videos, after sitting there staring at my to-do lists, staring at all the things I need to get done, at the things I want to get done, and I continue to sit, but now I relaxed.
Not every time. Restive is not a place of mind I can be when there is so much piled up. But I found that space, I gained that ability, to simply step back for a moment and take a breath.
I developed a habit of stopping for a moment at a time, actively trying to do something constructive, even if it putting my mind to something, uncrumpling the files in my brain that I have been shuffling around and shoving to the back because I have so much to do and I have for so long…
Being able to stop for that one moment, even to take a few deep (and calming) breaths, helped me learn to push myself to rest more, to actually relax.
This helped me pick my handwork back up while I sit resting.
This helped me pick up my pen and a random notebook to start scribbling little tidbits and shards of ideas haphazardly.
This is where the realization that I needed to do things differently, that I had more to figure out than I thought I had to figure out, that there was more than one way to skin a cat (figuratively, not literally, not here). There are still so many things I have to work on, still so many things I need to figure out.
I am learning that slowing down is like an onion. There are layers. What’s worse is at my age, as an adult, it didn’t strike me until late December to early January.
As a child, all I remember hearing is ‘hurry up’. Hurry up and come on. Hurry up and eat. Hurry up and get moving. Hurry up and hurry up and hurry up.
I never realized it, even though it is one of those things I worked —and continue to work- extremely hard to not do to my own children. Unless we have an appointment and we have to be there on time and even then I apologize for having to push if it comes to that.
I also didn’t realize it was something so ingrained within me, to hurry hurry hurry, until I was working through one of my classes (one that I was taking online) and I was fighting so hard to get through this one module so I could get on to the next so I could fight my way through it to get through to the next…and I stopped…and opened up a Word doc on my computer instead and started typing.
Stream-of-consciousness writing can be a life-saver some days.
It was something I had never seen about myself, something I had never noticed.
Once I saw it though, looking back on my entire life, that one refrain from childhood, hurry up, seems to have applied and struck so many different areas of my life.
It was a frightening realization.
However, realizing it, seeing it, naming it, has helped tremendously.
Now, I cannot simply turn off that ‘hurry up’ switch in my brain.
I can be more mindful of myself, of my actions, of my motivations, and I force myself to slow down more. And or to calm myself when I feel that sense of urgency coming on.
Plus, I have learned now to invoke that Pause more often in my life.
I look forward to the Pause. I have to remind myself to use the pause more now. To actively USE the pause.
Sometimes taking the time to do nothing, no matter how hard that can be for me (not that scrolling on my phone through endless articles doesn’t help when my brain shuts down), has become an essential part of my process.
It doesn’t help when I think, ok, I have this, so I am going to build this around X. Then I go to find X, and I can’t figure out where it is.
So. Processes. It’s all about processes. And pausing is a valuable process.
What about you? Do you pause? Does it help? Have you learned anything?
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