Give your mind a holiday!
Posted on 23rd June 2023 at 12:48
For the third time this past week I was again reminded that I needed to stop. I’d not only been told to stop, I’d read various quotes one of which stood boldly on the page almost jumping out at me.
‘In the Pause lies the Progress’
I couldn’t believe my ears when the message was delivered again almost word for word during a meditation later that week! As someone who loves a sign, I decided to listen. My body now showing it’s own signs too, the message landing loud and clear - my mind needed a holiday. This holiday in the pause; the problem was I wanted to avoid this! I could see what I was doing, busying my mind to avoid feeling into the past weeks; yet I know the way through lies in feeling it whatever the emotion, taking time to feel, to heal. This isn’t easy. Avoidance often presents itself and before you know it you’re caught up once more in the daily routine.
We don’t know what life’s going to throw our way but we do get through it, whatever it takes; after facing those difficult times the problems often lie in the days, weeks and months, possibly even years that follow. The parts that get forgotten, the emotions that are not welcomed lay buried. Only when we pause and bring awareness do they have space to rise to the surface.
‘Hidden suffering can catch us.’
If you go through a difficult time, your body will experience some kind of shock. Habits are formed both in the body and the mind and if not acknowledged they build up, these then present in things we so commonly experience such as anxiety, stress, depression and burnout. Physical symptoms and conditions too. If we don’t listen, we are made to.
If you don’t give your mind a holiday from keeping itself busy with the day to day there lies no space for reflecting on what’s hidden, when taking pause to do so this frees up a deeper space and in turn that holiday in the mind now a longer destination for you too enjoy.
Mindfulness for me is now a way of life, there is no rule book on how you are to be mindful. Just like any other habits, the mindful ones when embedded they stick. Noticing all things good and bad becomes a default and your bodies signals are heard. Once you have the awareness of what’s going on, of what you need you can begin leaning in to it. After all, as I said in a previous blog of mine, ‘Leaning in’ most definitely is the way out.
The problem many of us have at some stage is the instinct to power on, to keep going, to get to the next thing faster. To not miss out and so the bad habits continue, the constant strive for perfection; what is perfect anyway, we all see if differently. I was recently reading that 20% effort lends to 80% outcome. Yet we all want to get to 100, therefore put in the 80 percent we can manage as we so often run on empty and then not even the 80 percent is achieved, more so 20 and we are exhausted.
Mindfulness fits in with you, what do you notice? You’re angry, so notice that and you are half way out already.
My family often pull me up on this. A show of frustration and I get the ‘well that’s not very mindful is it?’ Again and again I point out the very thing I have here. I can be mindful of the anger, the frustration, the anxiety, the love the happiness. I can notice it all and there for appreciate the moment or move through the difficulties far quicker.
You see, in the words of the well known Mark Williams:
‘We often have very little empathy for our own thoughts and feelings and frequently try to suppress them by dismissing them as weaknesses.’
They are not weaknesses at all, they teach us, they carry message and just like the good times help us understand not only ourselves but all around us. Mindfulness can be avoided for wasting time, results not appearing quick enough but to reference him again.
‘You’ll soon discover that although you feel time-poor, you are actually moment-rich.’
Things can indeed change in an instant but when you can be present with it all these things become a guide, not a burden and when moved through not pushed down, you are a step closer to that holiday. To get the most out of each day you have to be in it.
How often have you gone away on that long awaited holiday only to find your mind spends half the time back at home procrastinating over all the things you should have done? Or alternatively in what you have to do when you’re back home? The lead up to a holiday can become a never ending battlefield of thoughts and to dos and when you arrive, your body present yet your mind has not caught up, or taken pause to connect to where you are, to how you feel. To who you are. To the moment.
Give your mind a holiday too, take pause and see the progress, really feel your body, take rest. You may just surprise yourself and see that progress has naturally come to you.
Tagged as: mindfulness
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