There are times when you are a facing a hard moment and all you want to do is stop the world so you can breathe, but you can't; you have to push through. Then there are times when despite the demands and expectations, you just need to stop and take a moment to care for your heart and soul so you can return to that challenge refreshed. The latter is the reason for my absence these last few days.
When I do a challenge, I do it BIG! I thought the act of taking every aspect's biggest fear into the light and examining it would prove both creative and beneficial. While it is both of those things, it is also very taxing. I needed a break, so I took a much needed three-day break.
My husband and I attended his college band director's retirement dinner and caught up with friends we haven't seen in months. I listened to each person's speech lauding this band director who had such an impact on my husband's life. The constant themes of "Be kind," "Pay it forward" and "Be true to yourself" resonated deeply as I thought of the people I interact with on a daily basis. These anecdotes reminded me to remain soft and focused outward when I am struggling internally.
The next day, a friend and I traveled to a nearby farm to enjoy a corn maze, cool pumpkins and each others' company. Later that same day, a big group of us took a hay ride and afterward, converged on our friends' house for a potluck. The outdoors and hearty laughter can do to tend to the aches of your heart.
Finally, on Sunday my husband and I skipped church (gasp!) to have breakfast together. Afterward, we visited a discount bookstore to peruse the stacks. Bookstore browsing is one of my favorite pastimes but it is also a place I go to be embraced by words and to lean into inspiration. We traversed the store, not needing anything but taking the time to look and jot down a few titles to pick up from the library later in the week.
Then, we journeyed home and pulled out a neglected game (Eldritch Horror). If you've ever played, you know how difficult the game can be, but this time, we won! And no one got devoured! We felt accomplished. It energized me to plunge into a book and lose myself between the covers, something I don't do as often during the daylight hours, but I indulged.
Why do I share this? For you to be inspired and because you need to allow yourself the same space to play and energize your soul. You need permission to stop. Maybe you don't have a whole weekend to devote to play and rest, but what about fifteen minutes? Five? Don't let guilt hinder you. Say yes to yourself and take care.
Breathe. Relax. You're worth it.
We will resume our journey into my aspects' fears tomorrow. Today, enjoy the now. Go play!