Life slung it’s best
Hoping to cause max duress
But, as a lady does with stress
She kicked back and had some rest
Wisdom insists we take a pause
Not because there are no good causes
But, sanity is the greatest of clauses
Worth fighting for… even if just because
The clarity from self-care
Brings all the thoughts to bear
To pierce through the noise and glare
Optimal self-care is the path to there
But where is this there
Some may try to say, with tones of a dare
It’s the journey to a solution
It’s not a magic potion
It’s work that must be done
In fullest of clarity
The brilliance of which only be
Your best self, is the one the world needs
Life slung it’s best
Trying to cause maximal duress
But, she rose up like the best
And laid the stress to rest.
the above were inspired by a photo shared by a friend on social media
There are weeks in which the work flow just seems to weigh you down and rob you of inner quiet and peace. It’s weeks like this when it’s hard to stay focused and motivated.
Those are the moments when a lot of people start to cut into their sleep and ramp up their consumption of coffee. The popular refrain being… you can sleep when you’re dead.
Few understand how prophetic those words and thoughts can be, for the body has a strange way of making these idealizations real. This can have huge ramifications for the individual who feels the need to push relentlessly, as if a machine.
In an individualistic society, as most Western ones are, it’s easy to feel the cost of such a mindset is limited and carried by the individual who holds such values. While the most obvious and easily quantifiable agent, the damages are rarely limited to one person.
When we push ourselves without concern for our wellness, we create cascades of damages to our own health and that of those in close associations with us.
The colleague who has to deal with our grumpy attitude because we’re sleep deprived and searching for a sugar enriched coffee hit to hold us over an hour or two.
Let’s not forget the unsuspecting bystanders on the commute who has to deal with our nasty predispositions… like cutting off people to get to the next red light… or pushing people to get to the last empty seat on the train… or screaming at a ticket agent for issues in our domestic life, as if it was their fault.
It’s easy to blame others. Yet, we’re spreading a lot of bad Karma. When it comes back to bite us, we shove it off on others… because we’re too busy trying to make something happen… by brute force of will.
This is none more destructive than inside of romantic relationships. We dump on our lovers, we trash their self-esteem, we poison their lives… all because we refuse to slow down and take care of ourselves. We’re too busy trying to reach some benchmark that may not well be our own.
note: this does not mean we can’t chase dreams and we shouldn’t make sacrifices… but as a chronic way of living??
There is a time when the bill of running ourselves ragged comes due. That usually comes at a cross-road when we have to make some seriously tough choices. It could be at the business end of a divorce, heart attack, breakup, accident, or health scare. Thankfully, it doesn’t always have to be so extreme.
Getting ahead of disaster
The whole point in self-care is to put oneself in a better position to face the challenges of life while also better able to enjoy the benefits of life.
Someone who takes the time to smell the roses actually benefits from having smelled the roses. When one takes a little time to enjoy the view, details seem to jump out at us that would otherwise be missed. There are other flowers in the garden that can be smelled. There is the therapeutic effect of lowering our stress levels. There is the peace of connecting with nature. The list of benefits can go on and on.
In the words of a relationship guru who no longer is with us… if we just create an hour worth of time a week to slow down and connect with our partner… we can save ourselves countless dollars of stress.
What countless savings? Starting with divorce to therapy to relocation cost, to decreased productivity after a breakup to legal feels, and the list goes on. Don’t thing because you’re not married those costs evade you. Those who have lived with someone a long time feel all the effects a divorce has, but no socially accepted protocol for dealing with the breakup.
Think about it a second, before we move on. The living space has to be split. Bills untangled. Moving costs. Breakup pains. Social fallout. Some even end up in court fighting over who gets what… but no legal framework for that split to take place in a more straightforward way.
But, let’s move away from this dark picture and move towards something a bit lighter.
Pause a Moment
Those in the habit of taking a break every now and again can tell you, the gained perspective is worth the hassle. By hassle, we’re talking about taking the time to plan a quite moment for oneself. As in, clearing the calendar for an hour in the week.
It’s not easy. Especially when you’re pressed for time and money. Those working three jobs just to pay rent will happily tell you how hard that is… if they had the time to stop and chat with you. Yet, some with those difficult schedules still make a little time to blow off steam and find peace.
It could be something as simple as just looking out of the window to catch the sunset while on the metro. It could be something as simple as pausing for thirty second before opening the house/apartment door… to breathe in… and out… deeply. It could be a little more involved as in giving your lover a quick squeeze for no reason with no expectations.
This blog post is inspired by a photo a friend of the blog posted. A brief moment to relax. Kick back… literally. And enjoying the sunlight for a few moments.
As children, we were able to do that any time and anywhere. Somewhere along the way, we decided, as adults, we’re too cool for that.
It’s the perspective of this blog that the love you have will be wonderfully served by having a break every now and again just to breathe.
One more benefit
The reason why many don’t take a break… they’re trying to reach a given goal. What we fail to appreciate, not all goals are reached by brute mental force. Some goals require the finesse of creativity. Creativity thrives when we’re not stressed to crank out a logical solution. That’s the value of taking a pause.
The whole point of rest is to help us do better and be better. Our health benefits. Our minds benefits. Our hearts benefits. And the unexpected side-effect… our loved ones benefit. They see our better selves. They see our happier selves.
So, the thought for today… take a few moments to pause and breathe. Then, resume your pursuit of happiness with a bit of a better rested mind.