Stop what you’re doing and breathe

A couple of weeks ago I was walking home from the park with my son when a van drove past us, stopped, reversed into a parking space for a bit and then drove off again – in the same direction it had been going before. My son turned to me and said “Mummy, why did that van stop and go backwards and then just carry on? Why didn’t it just keep going?” I told him that I didn’t know why that van had stopped but explained that sometimes people just need to stop – maybe to check a map and make sure they’re going in the right direction. Maybe because there’s something wrong (with the person driving, or the vehicle). And that sometimes, people just need to stop to take a break – if they’ve been driving for a long time they might just need to have a rest.

Sometimes we all need to park up for a bit

New story starter: Stop. Life is a long journey. Back up a bit. And breathe.More recently, I recounted this story during a chat with Christine Livingston, as we were reflecting on the need to just stop, sometimes, in order for things to work themselves out. I had been in a bit of a funk and wasn’t sure what it meant and was wondering whether to just stop doing stuff for a bit. As we chatted, Christine told me about how she had gained clarity on something when she just ‘parked it’ for a bit. Alarm bells rang – there’s a theme here… A big fat sign from the universe for me to stop. To park up, maybe even back up a bit, in order to find my way forward.

But did I stop? No.

I told myself stories about what people might think if I took a few days off (hello, ego?). I told myself, “I’ll stop in a bit, I just need to do X, Y…” As though anyone but I would notice if I didn’t do these things. I had ideas I needed to work on, to develop… So I did all the things. Well, most of them. Then I started to feel tired. More and more tired. Then I woke up with a migraine. I took my son to nursery and took myself off to bed for an hour. Then I got up and wrote this post – to share my story with you in case it helps you on your journey. Once I finish this, I’m going to save it and go for a walk. Eat some healthy food. Meditate. Basically, I’m going to stop. Back up a bit. And breathe.

And breathe…

When you’re ‘stuck’ in a certain way of thinking (I need to do all the things!), or passionate about the journey you’re on, it’s easy to get caught up in that, to keep on… and on… and on… But life is a long journey and long journeys require us to stop sometimes, maybe even back up a bit, to check we’re going in the right direction, refuel, and (or even just) to breathe.

Van_Journey_WritingPeoplePoetryWhen did you last stop to catch your breath? If it’s been a while, when and how will you next take some time out? Do share in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

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8 thoughts on “Stop what you’re doing and breathe

  1. A timely post for me – I’ve been feeling overwhelmed this last couple of weeks, all to do with stuff I can’t share online. I do need to breathe! The trouble is, there’s so much stuff to do that I find it hard to breathe while it’s all hanging over me! I think today I will spend some time getting things done and then also give myself a break and chance to refuel. Thanks Rachael. xx

    • Hi Maddy, I know what you mean… It’s hard to take time out when there is so much to do! Hope you had a chance to take a short break and refuel over the weekend…

  2. What a great article Rachael. You are absolutely right I think we often forget we are Human Beings not Human doings! and we need to take a break, stop, breathe and reflect – basically just be sometimes. A great reminder to take a break, which I think we all need.

    • “We are human beings not human doings”. I love that Julie! Thanks for reading and commenting, so glad it resonated with you.

  3. This! All of this Rachel!
    I love the analogy with the van. I’ve had three migraines in the space of seven days after going virtually migraine free for years. I think more than anything it was because I need to slow right down, reassess my food, stress triggers and other things that are going on in my life and just CHILL! Instead, I carried on as normal then seemed surprised when yet another attack halted my life!
    Lovely and timely post xx

    • So glad it resonated Tinuke! Since I had my son, I rarely have migraines regardless of what triggers I consume… So always a sure sign for me to slow down… Sometimes our bodies have ways of making us take the rest we need! Hope you are fully recovered and feel well (and well rested) again now! x

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