The Importance of Pause

Happy TribeLife Tuesday! We are so excited that you've found us! 

I recently took a month off from blogging because I had inundated myself with work and I needed to pause and reset. It was a wonderful and much needed break. I must admit, it did not curb all of the busyness but it certainly helped me to think toward to future of this blog and my life in general. So today I want to share some of what I realized during this moment of pause. 

Here are a few things that became apparent: 

  • Gratitude is a must have when navigating life
  • Know your limits 
  • Be patient with the process 

Social norms & culture have a way of being our life GPS, determining whether we are headed down the right path: marriage, kids, owning a home, finishing school, etc. I absolutely believe all of these are admirable goals and I think we should definitely set our hearts on such things. I also know that we must be careful not to let those norms be the sole dictators of our journey. I realized during my writing pause that I had lost so much of the adventure of living and that I am less sure of where I am going these days. 

So here we are at this junction of honorable goals and feeling lost. Where do I go? From experience, I have found the best place to go is to gratitude: it is a great navigator. Gratitude has a way of reminding us to keep the main thing the main thing. Remember all that you are thankful for. Remember where you were and where you are now. Starting with gratitude makes way for straight paths. This grateful way of living helps us to let go of the control and follow the adventure. A practice I have started incorporating in my life is writing (not typing in my iPhone, actually writing - archaic I know) one thing I am grateful for every day. The more I focused on all that is beautiful in my life, the more that lost feeling faded away. As the practice of gratitude grew, fork in the road became a one-way street. 

My second takeaway from my moment of pause was to know my limits. This looked like me staring at myself in the mirror going, “Know your limits, Carrie!" As I have gotten older, I have become more self-aware. When I say self-aware, I mean knowing how far I can push myself and stay mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy. I have learned what depletes me. This is a practice I implore all of you to start implementing. That practice begins with asking yourself, is this going to help me or hurt me? Does this make my life better or worse? When we know ourselves we can practice true healthy selflessness. 

When I stand at this junction, between honorable goals and feeling lost, everything within me wants to curl up in ball, wrap myself in a blanket, and quit. Harsh, I know, but when I dig deep enough that’s really what it feels like. Well, this feeling is rooted in the fact that I had gone too far over my limits. I know this because I began to ask myself, "is this helping me to hurting me?” And, while all the things I was doing were “good” things, I was doing too many good things and wearing myself out. So, I say to you brave one - be aware of what you body, soul, and spirit are saying to you and slow yourself down long enough to listen. 

Lastly there is sweet patience! It has been said patience is virtue, it is also a struggle. Can I get an AMEN? 

The truth is that process is the practice of patience. So many times it seems like we wait for an eternity for an answer or a decision to be made but don’t despise your process. It’s meant to make you better. Whether we like it or not, it contributes to the beautiful shaping of who we are! Give yourself permission to be patient with you and give others permission to be patient with you. Every great thing takes a process - wine, diamonds, oak trees, and you! So, my friend, remember that you deserve to give yourself to the process. 

As we all continue to pursue our best lives (lives that are healthy, well, & full) I encourage you to let go of the things you can’t control, loosen your grip on the things you can, and enjoy the adventure, bumps and all. 


Thank you so much for reading! 

See you next Tuesday.

Carrie Alford