It's morning in my home, everyone is still in bed and I am awake quietly enjoying my morning coffee. While the creative juices are flowing, I want to take a minute to talk about how important it is to take a break. To give yourself the day off or even just twenty minutes off. Sometimes all I can manage is 5 minutes – but either way, no matter how much time you can fit in or how little—take a break.
Your brain and your body can only handle so much information before it really starts to slow down. Think of it like a computer that is so full of stuff the processor just moves slower. It needs a good cleaning. It needs some junk files moved to the trash. When our computers get slow from being too full, we delete some information, move some files. When our minds get too full of information we berate ourselves for slowing down, and we push through. It just doesn’t make sense. So, I encourage you to pay attention to your day, to your body, to your brain—how well is your mind processing information throughout the day. Is your brain sharpest in the morning or late in the day? How does it feel around 2pm, 3pm or 4pm? What is your brain capable of at 8pm?
I noticed that I am very sharp in the morning—yes, I’m a morning person, you may not be. By late afternoon, around 2:30 or 3pm, I start to slow down. My thinking and decision making isn’t what it was at 7am. So that is my cue to take a break. Step outside and take a walk. Go sit under a tree and just be with nature. Maybe I do some breathing techniques (see below), smell some essential oils to calm me or wake me or just make me happy (see below).It’s a good time to put some music on and pop in the headphones, just jam out or jam and dance around. Usually 5-20 minutes is enough to revitalize me.
When I was a kid, my sister and I used to climb onto the sofa and hang our heads over the edge looking at the world upside down. It was crazy fun and a wildly creative break. We would dream out loud about what life would be like if it was upside down. How we would have to step over door frames to enter another room. How windows would be lower and closer to the floor—better for us! We could just step through them. Some really tall people would need to duck to avoid the tables and things stuck to the ceiling and that would always make us laugh. It’s a fun flip things around world and I still do it to get my creative juices flowing.
By-the-way, laughter is another excellent way to take a break. I mean really laugh, laugh out loud. So get up stretch your arms and legs, fill your glass of water, and listen to some ridiculously funny comedian on your headset. After a few really good laughs, you might just be ready to get back to work or whatever task you were doing and you might find that it is all fresh again.
By 5:30pm I’ve usually hit decision fatigue and just can’t get up the juice to make another decision, sometimes even just what to cook for dinner! When I’m feeling this way, it’s essential that I get up and move, even if it’s just taking a walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water or check what’s in the fridge to throw together for dinner. I need to move my body--loosen things up. Sometimes a quick sun salutation or other rejuvenating yoga pose and I am back at greater capacity. Here are some other ways I refresh when I am hitting the wall—seriously, this is important—take a break!
Today, I encourage you to take a break, and if you are able, take the whole day off. Give yourself a mental health day and just expect nothing. Do things that are spontaneous and will fill you up with laughter or relaxation or nature or any other thing you enjoy as self-care.
Breathe In, Breathe Out: Inhale Energy and Exhale Stress by Guiding and Controlling Your Breathingby James E. Loehr and Jeffrey A. Migdow
Insight Timer phone app for guided meditations
Breathe Ball app for breathing breaks throughout the day
Essential Oils--try them out for yourself, but some of my favorites are: Lavender essential oil for calm, Peppermint for waking up and revitalizing, Rosemary for restoring learning and memory capacity, Rose for joy and feeling loved, Ylang Ylang or Neroli for creativity, Sandalwood for grounding.
Imagine yourself in a beautiful home, safe, and comfortable. Maybe you are sitting on a chair or a sofa. Maybe there is a blanket wrapped around you and a fire in front of you burning brightly. Feel the love that is in this home, the comfort that surrounds you. Maybe you feel loved ones behind you, maybe you are there alone, in peace, however this feels for you, just experience it.
Maybe this is a home from your childhood, maybe your grandmother’s home, or a favorite Uncle or Aunt. Maybe it’s not a physical home you have experienced in this life-time, but rather one of your heart. Maybe it’s the home you created for yourself, just know that here, in this place, you’re safe and you’re comfortable.
But now listen, you hear something softly. Something is calling you, maybe it’s a feeling maybe there’s just a tugging at your heart, but it’s clear. You are being called from outside. It’s magnetic and beautiful and you couldn’t resist this feeling if you wanted to. So you stand and you walk to a door, as you do so the feeling gets stronger; you feel warm and flushed.
You open the door and then you step out into this beautiful natural place. Whatever that means to you, however that feels, whether it’s a field or a mountaintop, or the sandy ocean’s edge. You see a path in front of you and you know you must take this path. The call is coming from there and you’re feeling it even stronger now that you left that beautiful comfort zone you created.
And as you step on this path and begin to follow the call, your heart is beating faster, your body is feeling flushed as you get closer to the sound, you start to recognize it and you feel heat flowing through your body. You know that this call is desire, it’s your hopes and your dreams pulling at you. Feel the warmth that begins in your heart spreading down into your second chakra, feel the heat flowing between your hips. Feel it in your second chakra, the place where the seeds of creation exist within you. Feel the heat rising from your second chakra, your seat of desire, flowing into your belly, into your third chakra, the place where you radiate your power in the world, the place from where you make clear decisions and express your will. Feel the warmth throughout your whole body, really know that your desires are calling you. Everything you dreamed of, all those hopes that were left unfinished or are yet to be known, are there waiting for you to act on.
As you come closer to where this calling originates from, you see in front of you a body of water—a reflective pool. The surface is calm, like glass. You walk up to it and you kneel down. As you look down into the water you can see to the very depths of the oceans and out to the far reaches of the universe. You can sense the part of you that is connected to divine source because it is from there that desire truly is birthed.
And as you stare into the depths, you begin to see clearly the hopes and dreams you’ve had over the years bubble up to the surface. There before you are all the things you desire. [It might be that one or the many that you have been contemplating this last month.] I invite you to focus on one, to sit quietly by this magic pool and allow one desire that you connect with strongly right now to surface.
Allow that desire to become clear, really see it, really feel it. Cup your hands and reach them into the water. Drink this desire into your body. Take it in fully, feel what it would be like if you were able to realize this desire. How would you be different? How would those you love b different? Perhaps, how would the world be a different place?
Really feel this as though it is real—because in this divine space everything is possible. Place your hands over your stomach. Imagine your Solar Plexus Chakra as a ball of yellow light glowing in your abdomen. With each breath, imagine yellow light entering your body and going straight to this area, making it glow even brighter. As your Solar Plexus begins to radiate, your confidence and personal power will become stronger. Feel yourself becoming more and more empowered. Now you can feel all the beauty and the rightness of you achieving this desire, Feel how beautiful life becomes when you go after what it is you desire. Really know how it will change you, your circumstances, and those around you.
Imagine yourself acting and speaking with confidence and self-assurance. Imagine the positive result that comes from taking this action. Hold this moment and focus on really feeling the emotions in your body.
And allow that to just sit with you. Feel the joy, and the completion, and satisfaction of whatever it is. Whether it’s more love, peace, a better job, maybe it’s fame or success, maybe its travel. Allow the feelings of that to fill your body, the joy that accompanies achieving this desire, allow it to sit with you. And when that feels full, just release it to the universe let it go back to the deepest mysteries of the ocean.
And as you release that, look back into the water, perhaps there is another desire or something else that is really burning for your attention. Maybe there is some other dream left unfinished that just wants you to notice it. And do the same with this second desire, let it crystallize before you, feel its fullness as you connect with what it would be like if this manifested in your life. Then drink it in and feel what it feels like to have that as part of you.
And when that feels complete, again, just release it, release the feelings of joy and completion just let them go back to Source where they can be manifested in a natural way. You don’t need to work hard at this. By aligning yourself with the feelings of reaching these desires they will manifest in your life. You are a changed person already.
Look down once again and see the surface of the water go back to being calm. All those bubbles of desire have receded. So you stand and you say thank you and you turn to step back on the path, heading back to the home that you created—that safe comfortable zone and yet somehow you know it won’t be the same. This home is still filled with love and it’s so comforting and beautiful, but it will no longer meet your needs. You have changed, you have acknowledged, owned, and felt what it feels like to dream your dreams into you. And so you will have to make room in this home for the new bigger you. The you that includes your dreams and hopes, and so another room is built, one that can accommodate your biggest aspirations.
I invite you to slowly settle back into the cushion beneath you and allow yourself to transition back here to this room, feeling the support of this circle of women around you.