In the Wheel of the Year, the 2 solstices (winter/summer) and the 2 equinoxes (spring/autumn) are known as the 4 major “pause points” or “Sabbats.”
These are natural times for us to take a break from what we’ve been doing and step outside the action to reflect, recalibrate, and recharge.
You might think of it like half-time in a basketball game or intermission in a play. In the context of the calendar year, it’s the ideal time for a mid-year review.
If you’re like me and the clients I serve, you’re well-versed in the importance of a regular pause to check-in and review what you’ve been doing, where you’re doing, and whether your actions align with your intentions.
You likely also understand the importance of rest.
I don’t have to tell you any of this.
And, if you’re like me, my clients, and many other high achievers I know, you might notice that you still resist the invitation to pause.
Have you ever gathered all the best practices around something only to shelve it?
Here’s a crucial fact about human behavior:
Just because we know something is important, and just because we know why it’s important, doesn’t make it easy for us to DO.
In fact, that’s often our gap:
I know what I should do, but I’m not doing it.
Whenever I hear that phrase — from myself or others — my first question is:
Why aren’t you?
We can’t change our behavior until we know what’s in the way.
The Reasons We Don’t Pause
Here are some of the reasons I have come up with for why I “can’t” pause:
I have too much to do. I’m already so behind. If I stop, I’ll never get this done. I just started getting momentum; I can’t pause now. I’ll lose my flow. I’ll do it when things slow down.
Do any of these sound familiar?
And yet here’s what I know:
There’s always more to do. When the current project ends, there will be another one on its heels. It’s never a “good time.”
Information Doesn’t Drive Behavior
Here’s another thing I’ve learned:
More information about why pausing is important won’t do much to change our behavior.
The reasons we have for why we can’t pause mask underlying beliefs and assumptions we hold about the very issue of pausing and rest.
What shifts our beliefs is not cognitive understanding, but embodied experience.
In other words:
If you truly want to appreciate the value in pausing, you have to pause.
the question to ask
when you don’t do what you know:
what is in your way?