Fearing the Pause Button

For years I craved the feeling of not having a “to do list” and that sound of complete, utter and pure blissful...silence.

And then that moment came, where I didn’t need to be chasing the game anymore.

YES! No more excuses! Forced into a new reality of freedom! My dreams come true!

NO! I’m afraid not – that wasn’t the happy ever after… not just yet.

I grew up believing that in order to be successful, I must work hard, and nothing else. If play came into it…there must be an outcome…there was no journey involved. If I didn’t think I would succeed, I wasn’t interested in taking part, because losing was not a good feeling for me, or still is.

Determined to succeed and not feeling good enough, a regular working week became 50-60 hour weeks topped with daily high intensity workouts at the gym. Let the game of life begin as I lived off adrenaline, sleep deprivation and a constant buzz. I wasn’t content unless I had burnt myself out! If my head wasn’t at the office or the gym, it would be on my phone. And isn’t that the reality for most of us?

But, the reality was I was making myself ill. I wasn’t in control of my life! And I wasn’t living my life!

I started my journey of slowing down a couple of years ago. Crazy I still find this so hard to do now I know, but remember I was living life at a pace which was an addiction for me!

But, I have been persistent to beat this habit!

I am allowing myself to listen to my Inner Self - that mystical voice I had heard yogi gurus talk about but I had no idea what is sounded like or when I would find the time to find this unknown sound!

What I didn't take into account along my journey, is that the pause button has one of the greatest purposes in our lives. Often we want the ideas, but we’re not willing to slow down enough for the idea to execute.

There have been so many times along my journey that I have rewritten the same chapter.

How many times have you said, “that’s it, not again, I can’t and will not put myself through that again!”, only to find yourself one month later reliving a similar occurrence? Tricking your brain into thinking that you can handle it better as you are stronger, wiser, and well…life wouldn’t be that cruel to play the same trick again on you again. Sound familiar?

Well NEWS FLASH….those repeating chapters are the big flashing lights screaming at us to take a step back in life, and reflect on where we are.

I kid you not, I would laugh and pay extortionate amounts of money and get excited about a trip to the spa, so that I felt it was OK to schedule in any quiet time into my calendar. Yet, scheduling in quiet time during the day was and is still my default belief that it is an “unproductive” use of time.

So what have I learnt?

Well this last year particularly, like many of us, has given me the time to step back, to take stock of what I have, what I am truly appreciative for, and what I want more of in my life. I’m more mindful of when I am truly happy, and I’m more mindful for what my success looks like.

My journey has become more enjoyable. I’m more in control of knowing how I feel, and what makes me happy. Don’t get me wrong, the lack of knowingness has been tough! Sometimes, it’s easier to sweep the emotions under the carpet, avoid the pitfalls…whether that’s putting in extra hours at work or avoiding confrontation, but part of our spiritual growth is acceptance.

I’ve learnt what the Pause button can feel like. Those niggles…that something doesn’t feel right here, moments of inspiration, time to reflect, take stock and think about the best course of action, or simply to refill the coffee cup of wellbeing.

For the first time in my life, I can hear myself think. I no longer need to have music on constantly, fearing silence. And I no longer fear saying what my achievements have been for the day. For the first time in my life, I am choosing to do what I want to do, because I am listening to what my soul needs in pursuing happiness. And in doing so, that is bringing me happiness.

So…do I still fear the pause button?

Yes, I accept it will be the default position for me, but the benefits of slowing down, giving yourself the time to reflect, listening to what your mind, body and spirit needs certainly outweigh carrying out activities that don’t bring me joy or may not have been the right ones on reflection.

So I encourage you to:

  • Stop

  • Notice and ask yourself:

  • what am I feeling here?

  • What is causing this emotion?

  • Has this emotion come up before?

More often than not, you are being faced with a situation which is a learning point for you. Not your co-worker, your boss, family or friend. This will be a situation for you to learn something new about you!

  • Choose how you move forwards. As this is your life and no one else's!

And most of all….

  • Be kind to yourself. Accept that it takes practice.

Sinéad x