Time Out

Have you ever had the experience of being so focused on what you’re doing and then hit a wall with making progress?  Maybe you tell yourself something like “I’m not getting out of this chair until I finish __________ (task)” or “I can’t go to sleep until the _________ (activity) is done”.  And then, someone gently suggests that you put whatever it is down, relax, and come back to it later.  Initially, you think they’re crazy for suggesting something so stupid and then you begrudgingly take their advice and, lo and behold, it worked.  

When you’re in the throes of intensity, it’s hard to imagine how letting go and shifting gears could possibly yield a better result than forcing yourself to complete a task or keep a pace that is burning you out.  When I talk to clients about the value of taking a break from the “have tos” and “shoulds” running their lives, the thought of it feels more threatening than freeing; from their perspective, taking time to rest and repair is the equivalent of being behind the eight ball.  The irony, of course, is that we would probably not be talking if they were actually in front of the eight ball.  If go-go-go or do-do-do is the rhythm of your life, this one’s for you: 

The Mountain 

If the mountain seems too big today then climb a hill instead
if the morning brings you sadness it’s okay to stay in bed
if the day ahead weighs heavy and your plans feel like a curse
there’s no shame in re-arranging don’t make yourself feel worse
if a shower stings like needles and a bath feels like you’ll drown
if you haven’t washed your hair for days don’t throw away your crown
a day is not a lifetime a rest is not defeat
don’t think of it as failure just a quiet kind retreat
it’s okay to take a moment from an anxious fractured mind
the world will not stop turning while you get realigned
the mountain will still be there when you want to try again
so climb it in your own time and love yourself til then

~Laura Ding-Edwards