Practicing hitting THIS button
This week I’m doing my very best to practice pausing. Pausing so that I can reflect on the Sparks + Splatter retreat that I hosted on Friday and so I can let my mind and body rest (because there were a whole lot of sleepless nights last week - mind racing over all those pesky "worse case scenarios". Yes, I even worried about “what if it rains and everyone’s cars get stuck in the field where they parked”).
I’m good at pausing BUT I’m not great at embracing the pause. I
like resting, I like shutting down the screen, I like wide open weekends with no plans. What I wrestle with is the patience required to REALLY embrace this breathing room in between projects. Sometimes I wish the pause could start at 5 pm on Friday and end in time for me to begin something new on Monday at 9 am. I want a cup of chamomile sleepy tea and 8 hours of solid sleep to be enough to do the trick and get me back to that URGE to want to make again.
This impatience and urge for a quick fix likely stems from the fear we have attached to pauses in our work and creativity and what they mean. We tend to view pauses or breaks as a negative. We question and wonder what went wrong, what happened to make you want to take a break or need to pause.
We can get stuck in the fear that if we slow down, let alone stop, we’ll lose our edge, our momentum, our passion. As if it can be all used up, evaporated forever and never seen from again.
We can get stuck in the fear that if we pause, we’ll fall behind. But “behind” is just an imaginary rung on a ladder that we probably don’t even want to be on.
We fear that if we fall off the creativity wagon and into a rut of mindless internet rabbit hole hopping (Pinterest and news sites being my favourites) that we’ll never find our way out of it.
You may even notice these same fears rising up when you’re in a creative drought, worrying that you’ll never get IT back again.
But when you begin to practice the pause and embrace the breathing room in between, you also begin to appreciate what it offers. The quiet space to ask questions and check in with yourself. The opportunity to fully exhale and recalibrate.
Rest and breaks are part of the process too. They’re not what stops us or slows us down from creating. They’re part of the fuel. Eventually you'll be pulled back in. That craving to create will always come back.
In the meantime, if you need it, feel free to join me in writing yourself a big neon yellow permission slip to PAUSE.