Being able to stop for a moment in a busy day can be hard – I have been thinking about this recently. Today I spotted a slug in the grass – I crouched down and just watched it – I don’t think I have ever seen a aslug move around in real life – on the tv maybe, but not right in front of my eyes. And then I lay down and watched the clouds, really just watched, didn’t try and see pictures in them , just observed.
And I thought this is probably the BEST thing I have done for myself all day – just taken time to admire, observe beauty in nature (yes even a slug) and let myself just be. But we wouldn’t say that if asked what we had done that day – it would all be about achievements, jobs done, to-do lists ticked off.
When my first son was small we used to spend hours (literally hours) in playgrounds. Usually when it was windy and cold and always when I didn’t have a book to read. I found that if I thought about it as a time to be and observe and feel, during the times he didn’t want me to play with him that this actually became a pleasant experience. Enforced stillness. Now I enjoy times in the playground when I can just be – I don’t do any work or feel pressured to find a job to do – I don’t have a book to read (which can sometimes not be helpful). And starting to get engrossed in nature, really examining a plant or observing an insect, means I come home feeling quite refreshed.
Just slowing down the pace of life.
I have found it useful to have little areas around my house that remind me to stop and think. A picture or an object that reminds me it’s ok to just stop and be. It’s ok to sit and be still.
Let thoughts flow or not.
Having somewhere you have specifically decorated that you can sit in front of to do some breathing or a meditation or to just be still can be useful too. Especially if life is getting busy, hectic or you can feel the stress rising inside you. You can always find a minute to stand or sit by here and focus on your breathing. Give yourself a chance to refresh, recharge, feel your feet on the ground.
During pregnancy and postpartum are especially important times to take time to just be and reflect on your thoughts and feelings as you experience changes physically and emotionally. This is something we look into in some depth during the Sacred Pregnancy Retreats how to choose and decorate a reflection space and what Birth Art Cafe can give you – a weekly time to just relax, be and reflect.