Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Do You Need a Break?

I don't know about you, but for most of the people I know it has been a period of intense growth. Sometimes this feels like a steady, uphill climb. Other times, it's an ongoing struggle or full-on battle. For some people, it feels like a band aid being ripped off. For others, it's like being stuck in the mud and not seeing a way out. And for yet others, it's experienced as deep, deep grief. However it is for you, please know that: 1) You are in good company, 2) This too shall pass, and, 3) It doesn't have to mean constant stress.

I just spoke with a good friend of mine who's been going through all of the above. For a couple days, her circumstances were so intense that I wondered how she would cope. But then on day three she was in good spirits, so I asked her what had changed. She said, "Well, I decided to take a break from all of that. My situation is what it is, so I just opted to take a couple days off to do something I love to do. And that's what I'm doing."

Wow, I liked that! I liked how she wasn't going unconscious, or turning to a substance, or being in denial about anything. I liked how she took advantage of a moment of peace and expanded it into a conscious decision to take a break from her challenges. I liked how she chose to do something she loved that also happened to be productive and healthy for her. Sure, it would have been fine for her to take to bed with a carton of ice cream and a television remote, but instead she chose an activity that made her feel content as well as gave her a sense of achievement. Well done!

What does this bring up for you? Are you a chronic struggler? An escape artist? A fighter? Do you get stuck in depression, or anger, or resignation? Do you freeze up, or melt down? Whatever your personality or pattern, don't beat yourself up about it. We're all human, and we're doing the best we can. But, depending on how you deal with personal challenges and what life is asking of you in your situation, it might be worth considering taking a conscious break.

And just so we're clear, when I say break, I mean a break from what you usually do. If you have a tendency to worry, then getting permission from your mind to take a break from worrying is definitely in order. On the other hand, if you have a tendency to engage in compulsive behavior to escape from your problems, then taking a break from that pattern is the way to go. In a case like this, you will have to get more creative about how your break soothes your aching soul, but it can be done.

This week, please join my friend in taking a conscious, meaningful, healthy break from whatever it is that's disturbing your peace of mind. This might feel amazing or it might not, but chances are it will give you a fresh perspective on your situation, and probably prompt some sort of positive internal shift in you.

Hang in there, and have a peaceful week.