“Live it, to give it.” This is the coach mantra. Meaning you can’t teach about holistic living (or stress-managing) while pushing yourself too hard. Or I guess you could, but people can tell when you are faking it.
I think that is why I am in this line of work. It continually calls me back to honest living. To tuning into my body. To honoring my desires and my limits.
So this week I’m in a growth spurt– involving teaching two webinars, multiple opportunities to clean up vomit from a sick child, collaborations with out-of-town colleagues and a challenging coach training program. Plus one night of not sleeping well (yes I was literally that excited about getting to teach the Enneagram to a new group. People who know me well will not find this a surprise!)
And, dear Birder, I’m cooked.
So there was a post on the calendar for you today on external and internal resources: how to identify them + how to use them to release stress. But that post will not be written this week, at least not by me:)
Instead I’m pushing the pause button.
Which means letting myself look at my to do list and get curious– is everything which feels like it Must Be Done, really, truthfully in that category? Or could there be some wiggle room?
Now the pause button is not about procrastinating or never getting around to finishing something important. But it is about noticing when our internal pressure guage is too high. And remembering that things don’t have to always unfold as we hoped they would in the planning stage. And that honoring our limits is always a brave thing to do– because it models something important in a culture which celebrates exactly one speed: FAST.
So I’m wiggling out of that other post to say instead: don’t be afraid to push your pause button. (And fear not, you’ll get the details on those internal/external resources later in the series.)
So often much of our pressure is really internal. We keep ourselves going at a fast clip because we can’t see an alternative. But driving yourself into pain or headaches or overall dis-ease truly is a choice. And not one you are required to make.
Now if you say, “but my boss or this other external situation requires it.” OK there are specific moments or projects where that may true.
But when it is a chronic habit…. I think we have to look inside ourselves and get curious about how we keep ending up in that same spot.
And to remember that in the pause time you may be actually doing really important work. Resting just a little bit can make the difference between getting sick or not, between being present for the big work opportunity or feeling drained and confused, and between zooming by the bookstore in a fog or choosing, at least once in while, to stop and enjoy a breather with two of your favorite readers on this earth.
So tuck the Pause Button in your stress-grounding tool kit. And don’t forget to use it over the holiday season (a time notoriously in need of pauses and deep breaths.)
This month I’m doing a series on stress… and the best practices for grounding and releasing it. (Thought we might all need these techniques well in hand as we transition into the holiday season.) Try some of these practices when you need to reset. And share with a friend who might need it. xo Courtney
Courtney is the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching, host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge, and publisher of a weekly enewsletter on real-world mindfulness practices (including conscious parenting tips.) She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three young children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can schedule a complementary clarity session to talk more.