Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Slowing reaction times, enjoying the little things, finding true rest, and learning about yourself
Now that we can officially say it's the Holiday season, I have been thinking a lot about hitting the pause button on a lot of things in life. Now that Beau is a full-on toddler who can engage in the season in a way she couldn't before, I am looking forward to devoting time to my family and friends this year.
For me, this doesn't mean quitting everything and going into a hidey hole forever. Instead, it looks like incorporating several practices to help me slow down, find more enjoyment in life, rest, and learn even more about myself and my needs. Here are the practices I am trying this season.
Allowing Myself to Say, "Can I think about that?"
A story I often tell myself is that I have to have an answer right away so I don't disappoint people, seem stupid, waste people's time, etc. For me, I see this show up the most at work. In meetings I often get asked an opinion or to make a decision and all too often I respond with what my gut says.
Now, I am a firm believer in going with your gut, but there are times that taking a pause in order to give a more well thought out answer. I have been trying this lately and though I feel a little uncomfortable with it, so far I feel really free. I love that I am able to do better work for myself and my colleagues just by allowing myself space to be thoughtful.
Last week I shared what self-compassion is not. Self-compassion is quickly becoming the backbone for living a more intentional life. Working through the misgivings around self-compassion has allowed me to give myself the grace to pause. When I get worn down, self-compassion helps me let myself "off the hook" to rest or fill my cup in whatever way I need to instead of running myself more ragged.
Taking a Breath as I Begin to Cook a Meal
I LOVE cooking. Love it. Nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than when I think about all of the meals I slowly cooked, messes I made, people I served, and then took the time to clean up. It's a sacred experience.
Having a toddler at home makes that process... nonexistent. Quick, easy, healthy meals are the move these days. But! I recently realized that doesn't mean I can't take a long, deep breath before I start and then engage myself very mindfully in the process. I pay the most attention to what my hands are doing. How they feel chopping veggies, stirring pots, checking temperatures. Meals may be faster and more hectic, but that doesn't mean the mindfulness disappears!
Do it daily. 5 minutes. It will change your life.
This fall I tried a lot of new things. I taught a lot of yoga classes, I taught a class at Iowa. I had a toddler. I did a lot.
For 2022, my word is INTENTION. To me this means taking time to think about what I want to do and WHY. It also means thinking ahead with my schedule. What do I want 2022 to look like? Feel like? What do I want my personal time to look like? How much personal time do I want?
I already purchased my 2022 planner and have been chipping away at dreams and plans.
I am also planning rest. Soon, I will slow down the pace of sharing on this platform so I can rest and be present. I will also be making use of all the vacation time I have accrued at work. I have it, so I might as well use it!
How do you find time to pause?