Taking a break…

I have been considering how important it is to take a rest in light of the holiday period approaching and my own holidays coming up. There is much commentary about how the modern world is go go go and how much is expected of people in the busyness. How there is a pressure to produce and that everything must be defined as a commodity.

Where does taking break fit into this world? How important is it to take a break and how does it benefit us?

  • A break is a space to gather all that we have experienced over time and integrate it into our day to day lives, to sew it into our continuing developing self
  • It is an opportunity to experience, to immerse ourselves in the world in a very different way, a way that may require an alternate application of ourselves. We absorb our experiences rather than intellectualising them. What a wonderful gift.
  • We can rest. How easy or challenging do we find it to relax? Is there an awareness that by day 5/6 on holidays that we are unwinding? Or can we switch off when we walk out the door? The ability to rest is what allows us to be active. It lets our body rejuvenate and our soul is nourished by it.
  • We can pause for reflection. How lovely it is to ponder on how we are in the world and to learn more about ourselves.

While the above looks at defined holidays there is a way of bringing a restful and quiet healing into our daily lives

  • The simplicity of being aware that we are breathing may seem very simple but it actually allows us a break in where we are and what we a thinking, feeling and doing. It offers a moment of awareness that is a restful moment.
  • The joy of reading is such that it brings another world into our consciousness, we enter the inner and intimate experiences of another and expands our understanding of the world and our place in it.
  • In becoming aware of our physical body at any given moment we are allowing ourselves to take a break from the busyness of our minds and check in with how our physical body is doing.
  • Spending time with those we love is such an essential and refreshing break, it can reignite the best of who we are.
  • The world offers us so much and it is there for us to experience. We may not often be aware of the beauty and solace that exists in our midst, so look around. Poetry to me captures this wondrous and mysterious beauty without comparison:

Seamus Heaney, 1998.

‘And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white
Their fully-grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park or capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass,
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways,
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open‘.

Delight in time out, however short or long it may be. It is a gift we can give to ourselves as often or as little as we choose.  I myself will be taking a break from writing these blogs in July and August.

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