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  • Writer's pictureHannah Marsh

Taking Time

When life is busy, and you're pulled in all directions at once, and you feel hardly able to complete one task let alone all that needs to be done, what do you do (or not do) then?

Photo credit_Hannah Marsh
Spotted a beautiful reminder to pause in Yountville.

The first thing we might do is recognize our own signals. When I notice my mind racing ahead on the to-do list, or a sense of overwhelm, or a deficit in time and energy to give to others or my creative work, there's a sense of recognition - ah, here's stress again. Sometimes simply pausing and recognizing this inner state helps create a sense of space from what's here - a shift from being overwhelmed to witnessing overwhelm, from harsh striving to softer self-compassion, from foggy overwhelm to clarity (what's important now and what can wait). I know, then, too, that I'm running low on what nourishes me. I need something to replenish myself - maybe not in that moment, but soon. I'll plan to offer myself a yoga practice, a run, a meditation group, some time in the garden or with a good book - things that fill me up and return me to myself. I'm sure we all have different things that ground and replenish us. When life is busy, it can be hard to take the time to offer ourselves those supports. But as you may have experienced, not taking that time has costs. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'm not very effective at getting things done; my mind is scattered or frozen. There's little creativity or possibility; I'm stuck. While it's okay to be stuck, when we can, why not take a little time to help ourselves - to start the process of loosening the knot.

In our June Mindfulness & Creativity drop-in, we'll take time for ourselves in mindfulness practices. We'll consider our relationship to taking time - does it feel self-indulgent, necessary? - and how we might encourage ourselves to tend to our needs. We'll ask how this focus on ourselves might have broader effects on our creative work and those around us.

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