Some pressures come in even from things that feel "good" or inviting… the call of a beautiful summer day to get outdoors and do all the things, use all the toys, do the outdoor work, etc… (you can read my poem, “The Pressure of a Beautiful, Perfect Summer Day” here for more about that).
People asking “What do you have planned for the weekend? What are you going to do?” It wasn’t until a friend texted and asked me “What aren’t you going to do this weekend?” that it hit me how conditioned we are to think that a “good weekend” is one that’s packed with activity, productivity, or a combination of both. We are not programmed to let down, and many of us struggle to even know how to relax.
Then there’s the internal pressure we apply on ourselves… I should be doing something. I’m lazy if I just sit here and read. What’s wrong with me? I know I need to… I have so many things on my list… ______ needs this from me…
Often when we do slow down and let ourselves pause or stop, even briefly, our body lets us know just how tired we are. If we are listening with kindness, compassion, and care, we might just give it a nap or an early bedtime, without judgment. Or we might just give ourselves a sweet time-out.
And then we can begin again… refreshed, renewed, with a brain that now has the ability to think creatively. When we go through this cycle of pressure, pause, begin again, actually allowing ourselves each of those phases, we may be surprised. We may notice that we feel clearer, stronger, and more energized as we face the things we need and want to do.
It takes a lot of awareness and it requires courage to add in the pause in a world that values “busy” and “productive…” I’m here to tell you, there are no gold medals for burning yourself out! No extra stars for pushing through when it’s going to leave you depleted. Abandoning yourself and your needs to do all the things or care for everyone else is not the way to go.
Stop! Please. Listen to your sweet body, to your racing mind, your lonely heart, your frazzled spirit. What do they need and want?
Pause. Tune in. Listen. And, then honor what you hear by responding. This is the part we sometimes skip – we hear what is desperately needed, but we tell that part of ourselves to just wait or to shut up. Instead, I invite and encourage you to give yourself the same TLC you’d give your beloved child or your best friend. Do what you need to tend to your body, comfort your own heart, calm your mind, soothe your soul. Let your nervous system take a break before you ask it to get on to the next thing…
Then, after you’ve given yourself this little break, even if it is only for 5 minutes, begin again, with fresh energy, fresh life, feeling a little recharged. See if it makes a difference, and let us know by commenting below!
If you’d like to play with this idea, I invite you to join me and my dear friend and colleague, Carol Moon, from Yoga & Wellness with Carol, for a Mini Retreat – Begin Anew! this Friday, August 7 from 9-11:30 AM ET. It’s a great way to end your week, begin your weekend, and honor yourself with a little space for reflection, movement, and pause. It’s a chance to slow down, go within, and pause… It’s a re-set in a sweet and nourishing way. Join us. We’d love to welcome you into circle. If you want to hear a bit more about it, get a sense of us and what we’re creating, please watch this short video! And, if you have questions, please reach out.
Until our paths cross, I’m sending you so much love and wishing you the peace of a pause to balance the pressures of being human.