Its all in the pause...
Life is so crazy busy… we fill it with distractions, commitments, responsibilities and quite frankly, just busy being busy!
Sometimes I wonder where the week has gone and what I have actually achieved. I feel guilty for meeting a friend for a coffee when I know that I have a heap of admin that needs doing or the puppy who needs my attention, not to mention the house that needs cleaning! But what I realised is, we put so much pressure on ourselves to get everything done in a timely fashion, well I do anyway. And not only the pressure of getting everything done like yesterday, but also filling our time with fluff that may well just be a distraction from actually spending time with our precious selves to check in and see where we are at instead of avoiding whatever we are holding there. When we eventually do stop, that’s when we get sick, the mind starts to pick up speed and thoughts whir out of control; so we promptly shut the lid back down in case we have to feel or deal with any emotion and quickly crack in the business of being busy once again.
A very good friend of mine started going to yoga at the local gym and she told me she leaves just before the relaxation part because she hates to be still and the only time she did stay she cried. This is exactly the kind of avoidance I am talking about. Yet, the pause is essential to unraveling and letting go as these thoughts and feelings that we keep suppressed deep within are exactly the things that hold us back from living our true potential; they are the rotten seeds of eventual physical disease which manifests when we don’t take the time to listen and understand what is brewing within.
Both on and off our mats we could make a commitment to pause; instead of being so quick to move out of the pose when it gets hard, how about staying with the unpleasant sensations and being with the experience? In my experience, this is when you hit gold and something is released. Can we allow that quietude to settle in and look at the agitation with a curious and equanimous mind instead of one that reacts so quickly? Instead of speeding off into your day after the physical practice, could you pause in savasana and really give yourself permission to relax instead of thinking about the washing that needs to go on or the to do list waiting at work?
Off the mat, could you schedule in - YES, schedule in! - some time to pause as part of your self care routine? I mean actually have some GUILT FREE time out just to wander out for a walk with no agenda, no phone (ahhh) and no one to chat to… could you switch your phone off and just lay in the garden and dose in the sun? Could you have an evening with the TV switched off and no visitors planned? I know, for some people this evokes FEAR! I particularly find it hard to give myself permission to do nothing, but my constitution is that which wants to do everything right now until I burn out and then I become too drained to really do anything. So in a recent episode if this behavior I gave myself permission for the pause and do you know what? I felt a million dollars right after!! Yes, completely rejuvenated and refreshed. I didn’t need to pay for therapy or expensive detox supplements; I didn’t need to go on holiday or a retreat, I literally just scheduled a few days out to relax and DO NOTHING and it felt FANTASTIC! So, be kind and be courageous, let yourself enjoy the pause, you’ll feel all the better for it.