There usually comes a time during the summer that I feel the need to pause. The longer, warmer days typically foster a whirl of activity that is a far contrast from the shorter, cooler and cozier months. Summer is undoubtedly my favorite season of the year, but even favorite seasons can become routine and, a little tiring.
Which is why I often take a pause during these ol’ dog days of summer. A pause not in the ‘let’s go on vacation’ sense, but rather a pause from planning, from practices and, yes, even a pause from the dedicated pursuit of my goals.
I have been focusing on my own spirituality and wellness for a number of years, but more intensely over the past year or so. The isolation of the pandemic combined with retirement from my decades-long profession has afforded me a tremendous gift–time to dedicate to that which is supremely important to my spiritual, emotional and physical well-being and goals. And even though I love the process, and adore and appreciate the wisdom that I have and continue to mine from these practices, I knew it was time to rest and just let it all simmer. And while some of my practices have become as much of a habit as brushing my teeth in the morning, there were some things that I let go of over the past couple of weeks, knowing that they would be there for me when I excitedly returned to them like an old friend.
Oftentimes we become so busy and focused on the ‘how’ and the routine of doing, we forget the ‘why’ of it all. For just as an artist pauses their painting long enough to stand back and admire the colors, contrast and depth of their work prior to continuing on, so must we pause to revel in our growth, express gratitude for all that has been and just relax. And breathe.
A pause brings with it a chance to truly enjoy the fruits of your labor. It will motivate you to continue pursuing those fruits with a clear, rested and energized mind, body and soul. Everyone’s pause will look different. For me, it meant going to bed a little earlier, sleeping in a little later, significantly reducing my time with electronics and setting aside my manuscript. It meant perusing the local bookstore for beach reads, and taking afternoon drives with the radio off and my senses on. It meant experimenting with new recipes on the grill and watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel.
And all the while, I noticed that my plans, practices and goals remained as committed to me as I have been to them, guiding me in my thoughts, directing me in my actions, and continuing to manifest all of the goodness and wisdom that my devotion has sought.