How do you know when it’s time to take a break or keep pushing forward?
I get it. Not everyone has this choice everyday to even contemplate taking a break. Life is deadlines, rushing about & responsibilities.
But sometimes maybe you do.
Maybe there’s some space sometimes, some options—do it now, do the thing later.
And yes, it’s easy to fill any space with yet another thing on your very long list but what if you know that your body, mind or your soul are calling out for something else, need a rest or a little bit of attention.
Today I have had one of those days.
I feel sad. As I push out into the world expressing more, being more ‘me’, the parts of me that have been criticised & neglected & taught to be hyper critical of my work—pop up again. Just a little now, less then ever before but I’m struck with surprising sadness.
So, in some kind of perfect, ironic timing—just as I’m about to sit down & write about when to push forward & when to stop & listen to yourself, I find that I can’t sit at my laptop just yet. I need to sit under a tree instead in a sun filled beautiful Brighton square (& as luckily I have a little flexibility today, I can) for just a little while, writing in my journal.
And I feel so much better now.
Sometimes it’s hard to know though—tasks conflict with needs.
Watch me talk more about it here.
We live in a pushing kind of a world.
I’m going to talk about it in terms of masculine & feminine energy but of course I’m not talking about men & women (as I believe we all hold all these energies within us). This is just how I see it…
You could say that our Western world is more masculine in energy & there’s a lot that could be said about the way we work, how it came out of the industrial revolution & productivity, how we all learned how to fit into systems at school.
Society says—work full time, get it done, no matter how you’re feeling.
For me, the positive side of that masculine energy is that it helps you to plan, set goals, follow those goals even on days you don’t feel like it. When it works, you see big progress. FOCUS is king.
Of course, the negative side is that it doesn’t allow for listening to yourself & your other needs. It makes you feel guilty when you don’t feel like being a work robot. Over focus can mean missing the big picture.
The positive feminine energy says—listen to your intuition about when & how you work, work to your own rhythms & flow, be fluid, flexible & creative. She desires to push the boundaries, likes a little chaos & to do something different (routine kills her). To nurture the self & others, be gentle & quiet too. SEEING THE WHOLE is queen.
But out of balance, this energy can’t follow a plan, has no stability & is ungrounded.
Can you relate to both sides?
When I was very ill, back in my late twenties, I had to learn about the feminine energy in me. I was so out of balance—disconnected from myself & used to doing things just because I had to, trying to find self worth through approval.
I committed to listening to what I needed, what I wanted, what brought me joy, creativity & emotional healing plus sometimes fun.
I needed ALOT of that. Years in fact. And it worked, I slowly got better.
Balance was restored or certainly much much more then before.
So, now I aim to flow between the two. The masculine part of me makes sensible, realistic plans & attempts to stick to them, he supports the feminine, the part that creatively expresses herself, likes to play, be random & nurture others in my work.
So, how do you know what you need today?
Check in with yourself. Have you walked way down one road or another? Have you been drifting for too long & need some focus OR been on a long treadmill & need a holiday? Maybe a little of both is needed, like my day today—a moment in a rose garden & then back to work.