Women especially find it challenging to press the pause button...
Wouldn't it be amazing if we could just halt time when we felt like it, just as nature does in winter time? A quick press of the pause button to allow ourselves to catch up with whatever we have been chasing at the time.
Compare it to your TV or DVD player which has a pause button. This enables you to exercise choice. You can choose to take a pause, or continue to hurtle along at speed to wherever that maybe.
For many people the focus is all on the end goal and in the pursuit of a target, very often the journey happens yet goes unnoticed and therefore unappreciated. Without pausing and admiring the scenery along the way, or stopping to reflect upon the distance already travelled and the many accomplishments to be acknowledged means that so much of the life experience has been missed and feelings of disappointment and discontent are a common misplaced result.
Life races along and typically many race along with it, caught up in the chase. It's like being in constant competition and wanting to get to the finish line first each and every time, exhausting. Head down, running blindly at full pelt, exhausting. Pushing to the limits, on through the agony knowing that you will either finish and be exhausted or give up before the end and then beat yourself up for failing, totally exhausting.
Regularly pressing the pause button means that you can take a well-deserved breather. It provides an opportunity to refocus and reset; for a health check, to reconnect to the inner self and generally calm things down. To move forwards again with deeper mental clarity and a renewed, replenished verve for life.
So how can you tell when you might need to press your pause button?
Well, you might be feeling: overworked, frenetic, overwhelmed, teary, panic stricken, frantic, anxious, depressed, have headaches, digestive issues or simply unable to relax; restlessness, muscle twitches, disturbed sleep. If this sounds like you - then it is definitely time to press the pause button!
Women especially find it challenging to press the pause button. The powerful desire to nurture, take care of everyone and everything pushes many women to be ‘all things to all people’. There is little time for self-love due to being so busy caring for others; tending to all their needs and wants at the risk of neglecting her own health.
Many women can be likened to talented and creative gardeners. They plant the seeds of love and then spend every moment nurturing and watching the seeds grow. They feed and water the seedlings and shower them with love. Meanwhile they have totally forgotten that they too need to be nurtured and cared for in equal measure, in order to continue to bloom and shine towards their full potential each season.
Now maybe it is your time to blossom and to press the pause button to allow that instinctive natural nurturing nature to be self-directed rather than directed towards other people.
How important is it to pause? Is it really that important? What happens if you don’t?
When trying to squeeze 'me time' into the day, pausing means that you are actually consciously investing in dedicated time specifically for you. Focusing on your own needs for a while means that you can pick up again from where you left off with even more energy and enthusiasm. Many women feel guilty thinking that they are not getting enough ‘things’ done but the graveyards are full of women who thought that and still there is plenty more work always to be done. It is engrained within our society and culture to be super busy and especially for women who heap feelings of guilt on to themselves for taking time out.
What if social/cultural beliefs could be changed? What difference could it make to be able to consciously choose to stop tending the garden and sit on the bench for a while and smell the roses?
To change the narrative in your head and create a new story, a new vision. Repeatedly tell yourself that actually making time for you is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself and those around you will benefit so much more from a new fresh you with a glorious sunny disposition; for you will no longer be feeling tired, resentful and unhappy.
Time to practice… first of all imagine just sitting on a bench in a beautiful garden. It's the garden you have lovingly tended nurtured and cared for but you've been so busy ‘doing it’ that you have not noticed its beauty and all the wondrous detail. Breathing deeply now, grounding yourself with the earth beneath your feet, you gently close your eyes. Your mind slows down and after a little while becomes still and now you are ready to dig little by little, deeper inside, where you connect to your inner self - your grass roots, sensitive and pure. A wonderful stirring of calm, warmth and love flows within and around you. A deep sense of renewal embraces you and like a beautiful flower that was biding its time, you flourish into your potential fullness and graceful beauty with innate wisdom, strength and courage.
Opening your eyes now, you are able to see things more clearly. You can still do what needs to be done however the sense of overwhelm, panic and stress is greatly lessened. You can now return to caring and nurturing your garden with a mindfulness of when life seems to be moving along too fast and you recognise the familiar feelings that indicate old patterns of behaviour threatening to take over, you will find it easier to press the pause button whenever required and interrupt the cycle. This is hugely empowering and feels so good to exercise this as a conscious choice.
If you would like to learn some more helpful strategies that will empower you to continue to ‘push the pause button’, I offer 1 : 1 mentoring and coaching sessions to help quickly transform old habits which keep getting in the way of your health, happiness and success.
For a deeper total immersion in a beautiful nurturing environment you could invest in yourself more fully, by signing up to my next Body-Mind-Barbados transformational get-away... 5 – 12 November 2016.
© Copyright Susan Gardner March 2016