This weekend I was excited to hunker down with photography. I was keen to process images from a shoot, I wanted to put together a marketing video, I was excited to paint a backdrop, & I had concocted various juicy ideas to play with.
I launched Saturday morning with gusto, painting the backdrop after breakfast. And then... the fire in my engines sputtered. My mojo had been waning Friday, & I took the afternoon off thinking that would restore my verve. But when the simplest weekend photo share on Instagram felt arduous, I knew stronger measures were needed.
Do you feel this way from time to time?
Even when we have plans on deck we are motivated to do, we can find ourselves circling in a lackluster limbo. Crabbiness can show its unsavory self here, too.
My early alert signal for an impending pause is my thought tone. When I'm in a good rhythm, rested + energized, my thoughts are "CAN DO" & "I BELIEVE I CAN." When they start to sour towards seeing even the most basic efforts like doing the dishes as burdensome, I'm due for a replenish. Actions & energies follow thoughts. Our mind has amazing power to set our body in motion. Or not. When it feels like a struggle to get to a flow state, REST.
Our bodies will find a way to bring us to a FULL STOP when we don't honor the need for a replenishing pause. Sickness often hits us when we are depleted, when we have been too busy to sleep & get our nutrients, including our soul nutrients of quiet + space. We can also start to make mistakes, choices we would not have made if we were in full flow, start banging into walls & dropping things.
Why is a Full Pause beneficial?
I liken it to a defragmentation of our internal motherboard. Our brain has been juggling so many projects, decisions, tasks, imaginings, prioritizing, etc. that it gets clogged & grumpy. It needs to be snuggled & given free time to look out the window, wonder, snooze, listen to birds singing, doodle, get lost in a book or movie, eat brownies, or all of the above.
TIME FOR A FULL PAUSE
FULL PAUSE means take all non-essential items (only BREATHING is truly essential) off the calendar until you feel your vitality flowing again. Not even catching up on friends/family email correspondence is part of the pause. See above for qualifying activities.
If you find yourself sneaking peeks at your calendar or your chore list, BOOK YOURSELF OFF GRID. Draw a giant smiley face on your day planner & write IN-DAY in bold magic marker. This is our day to LISTEN IN to what our intuitive selves know we need. On your digital calendar, block the whole day as unavailable [I like to note it as being on a retreat with myself] & walk away from it. Done. On to the most important part, the actual PAUSE.
What does FULL PAUSE look like?
Quite often, full pause for me means no errands but instead staying in or only going out on walkabouts with Ernie or my morning runs. Early to bed. Reading a mystery novel. Slowing the tempo & focusing fully on one thing. Wiggling my toes can take all my attention in a full pause. At its essence, it is appreciating the luxury of time without schedule.
Usually, my full pause begins to work its magic in a day or day+half. I know I am replenished when I look forward to blitzing through little things on my list. Or taking on one biggie to-do with zest.
Getting back in rhythm
We can become so oriented on achieving that we forget our natural rhythms rise & fall throughout each day, during the month, seasonally. Forcing those rhythms to be up when they are down, instead of surfing them, can bring on icky negative energies & self-destructive talk.
When we give ourselves the REST & RESPITE we need, we bounce back with renewed enthusiasm & creativity. We must be courageous in pressing pause, knowing it is the best path forward.
What is your alert that it's time to press pause? What are your favorite replenishing routines when you pause?
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