Week 9. Pause


2/29/20243 min read

These last few weeks were a time of reflection for me. Just like we talked last week about looking at our lives as it were a book to help us evaluate the path that we‘ve already walked and to decide what we want to experience more of in the future. This week few periods of my life were circling in my mind and when I tried to find what all of them have in common, I realized that they were all about maximum output, moving and reaching big goals. These things, just like anything else, have a potential to be very positive or destructively negative. In my case they were quite negative so inevitably, a period of pause had to come. Most people I know are not very good at stopping when their bodies ask for it so in those cases life brings illnesses, depression or at least a burnout, which is a mixture of all of that in my book. Again, as part of nature, our bodies show it‘s wisdom, it takes what it needs in ways that are accessible to it. To gain that wisdom in less extreme ways, way before we crash, we can look at a breath. Each breath comes in waves: in-stop-out-stop. Notice that every breath has a natural pause at its peaks and lows. When listening to the waves of the ocean you can notice something similar, there‘s the crash and a pause, a crash and a pause, so moments of stillness are a part of the movement. It just occurred to me, it’s just like in music. As beautiful as it is, this concept is not very popular in the work world. Since industrial revolution humans were expected to work, produce output all day every day, non stop, just like mechanical machines did. Before mechanization, most people were living agrarian lifestyle, so they were much closer to nature‘s cycles. I‘m not saying to get back to life before electricity, that wouldn‘t be smart or efficient. All I‘m saying is that we live in this amazing time when we can use so many new technology almost right after it‘s invented and it brings us so many advantages, opportunities. At the same time, though, we‘re still a part of nature, we live in cycles (yes, men too, it‘s not just on women) and the harder we fight against our natural part, the harder our lives become. Sadly, talking from experience. So this week try to notice your breath and the pauses in between, try to interweave a few moments of stillness and pause into your life and notice how you feel. If it brought up feelings of guilt, ask yourself, who instilled this guilt to rest into you. It‘s not a natural thought for humans, we acquire it through guilt tripping us to do more than we want or can at the moment. That‘s how we learn to override our natural queue to rest so we continue to exhaust our reserves when they are already on low. Then we get two weeks of rest but it‘s too late to restore what has been piling up for months so the two weeks won‘t cut it. Then we feel guilty that we didn‘t rest well and the cycle of exhaustion continues year after year. That‘s the typical way we come to a hard realization that we can‘t go on like this any further, usually by way of difficult circumstances or a complete loss of motivation to keep going. But that doesn‘t have to be your way. Knowing all that you can choose to take moments of stillness, rest, maybe starting with longer in-breaths and longer out-breaths, then, maybe pairing longer inhales with opening doors (that‘s an activity we all do every day so it‘s easier to attach breath with something we do multiple times a day to form a habit), then maybe take ten minutes on a weekend to notice your breathing and after that asking yourself what would make you happy today. Anything small, from smelling a rose to going for a fancy dinner if you will. The goal is to fill your days with joy and make it a habit to ask yourself what you need at this time, what would bring a feeling that your day was well spent today (not talking about cleaning or completing more work tasks on your off work time. Think what would bring you laughter, lightness), to fill your life with the things you really enjoy and value because it‘s your life, why not try living it on your terms? Maybe in small steps at first and in bigger strides when you‘ll find your footing. And all of that also comes with pauses. So take one now: breath in, pause, breathe out, pause and have a great week!

Find your joy this week.