It’s winter, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means time for hibernation.
If you're in a cold climate, it's easier to see that the trees are bare, but they're not dead. They're resting up for when they burst forth all their blooms in the spring.
In colder climates, it’s also easier to create more down time and going within- both literally and figuratively- because the weather demands it. Those in warmer climates need to actively allow hibernation time.
This is a time of energy conservation, rather than expenditure.
Right after the holidays, I felt spent. I figured I’d bounce back quickly, but no, I needed a lot more rest. I felt confused, had zero motivation, nor clear direction. Instead of rushing through the feelings of confusion and uncertainty, trying to “fix” them, I sat with them, allowed them, and didn’t try to make them go away. If anything, I owned and accepted them. And believe me, usually I like to figure out what’s going on and quickly process through it. But I didn’t.
I gave myself permission to fully embrace inner rest and hibernation.
Doing this did an interesting thing. After a couple weeks, creative thoughts started to come at random times. I started to feel a tad more motivated. And I became a bit clearer on my direction.
You can't get clear on your priorities and recharge if you’re always moving from one thing to the next. If you’re, as U2 so brilliantly said, “Running to stand still.”
But, if you take the time to stop, to pause, and to rest, you can replenish your creative well and energy reserves. You can decide what to focus your attention on. You can become inspired.
Life isn't a competition, nor a race. If you pause when you need to, you won't miss out on anything. The idea that you will is a great lie of the negative ego.
And listen, right now if you're super motivated and inspired and you’re expending energy, there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have to follow our own personal rhythm. If you're in a period of Spring having already sprung, then be aware of when you too need to step back and hibernate.
For those feeling the need to go within, honor that as you're matching the season.
As for me, I'm still in hibernation mode. There are small steps I’m taking, but I’m not fully recharged yet. That’ll come; I’m not rushing it. It’s still winter.
I was “supposed to” send out my blog last week, but I was extremely wiped out and needed a day to completely decompress. I had most of it written, but the thought of editing was just one thing too many. It felt wonderful giving myself permission to put myself first. And simultaneously, there was that little nagging voice later in the day that said I “should” follow through with my commitments.
But isn’t my commitment to my well-being the priority? I think so.
Luckily, I’m familiar with, and have worked on the “doing” voice, so I didn’t allow it to take over. I dismissed it into silence by proclaiming with authority that my sanity comes first. Plus, since I created the schedule, I could alter it. I owned my choice in a calm, but empowered voice, that ended all further discussion.
The voice of “doing” can be loud or subtle. It’s the voice that says what you’re doing isn’t enough, you have to do more, and that your value is based on what you accomplish. Or it may say people are counting on you and you can’t let them down. It will find whatever excuse or guilt is needed to keep you in motion and agreeing to commitments when really, you need to stop and allow yourself breathing room.
It’s part of our culture; the “go, go, go” energy that is valued and prized. However, that “busy” energy keeps you from being present and in the moment, as well as preventing you from slowing down and creating balance.
A more insidious example is that I used to love multitasking. I felt pride at how many things I could “do” simultaneously. Then I started getting even more grounded than I used to be. The more grounded I was, the more I realized that multitasking wasn’t serving me.
It didn’t feel good as having my focus in multiple places would rev up my energy and amp me out of my body. Plus, when my focus was fractured, I would sometimes feel like I was missing something that was said, which I was. The biggest lightbulb for me though, was realizing how draining multitasking can be. It’s not just singular “doing,” it’s “doing” on steroids.
Part of the reason it’s draining, besides knocking you out of your body, is it's like when you have too many windows open on your computer. The computer can't run at its optimal level because it's got all these open files pulling at the battery and depleting it. Whereas if you've only got one window open, your computer can focus there while keeping most of the battery intact.
Notice if you have too many files open. Too many places that gather your attention. You don’t need to know what they are, but you can ask to close them down.
Ask your conscious mind to close all files running. Then ground yourself and focus on the task at hand.
There’s tremendous power in being present with one task at a time. Plus, then you become aware more easily of when you’ve reached your limit and need to just “be” for a while. Which is ultimately an act of self-love.
I’m glad I took the extra time off for myself. I came back from my decompression time more alert and energized, looking at everything from a new perspective, and with much more flow. Give yourself that gift as often as you need.
It’s the peak of summer which means, create time to relax and enjoy the season.
You’ll always have a myriad of things to-do, but remember when you were a kid, and a summer day could last forever? That’s because you were so present and in the moment with what sounded like fun. There were games to play, things to imagine, and the joy of simply being outdoors. You’re never too old or too busy to create a magical summertime experience. Even if only for a day.
I just came back from the Midwest and had the pleasure of watching a couple of rainstorms during the day, and in the evenings, smiling at the fireflies.
Take some time off and be. Read a book, daydream, find a hammock to take a nap; slow down.
The more you slow down, the more you catch up to yourself energetically, while also experiencing the healing frequencies of the earth; something bodies love.
“I am valuable, even if I’m not doing anything.”
“It’s safe for me to slow down, relax, and be unproductive.”
“My worth is not based on my productivity. My worth is based on who I am.”
“It’s good for me to have fun!”
Summertime joy awaits, create it now.
Many of you are feeling good and doing quite well, while others are having a really tough time right now. This is for the latter group…
Sometimes in life you’re going to feel like it’s all too much. This is when you know you’ve hit your capacity for giving, and need to spend some time in self-care and receiving.
There’s nothing wrong with, and actually it’s necessary to, disconnect. Put your phone on do not disturb. Have a bed day where you read, or binge watch a show. Stay in pjs late. Stop doing and allow yourself to be.
You’re not alone if you’re feeling compassion fatigue.
You’re not alone if you’re overwhelmed.
You’re not alone if you feel like you just can’t handle one more bit of restriction and limitation from this pandemic.
If you’re tired, you’re not alone.
I’ve been saying this for years, and clearly, it’s not letting up; there’s increased chaos in the world as well as major shifts taking place in our inner worlds. The point is ultimately, to move beyond what’s not working, into a greater reality. But going through it is like being a butterfly in a cocoon; it’s not fun. We’re literally being pulled apart in all directions to become new.
None of us are victims to this, we all chose to be incarnated at this time. And it’s more intense than most of us ever thought.
Don’t fight it when you feel overloaded; resisting it prolongs it and makes it worse.
Give yourself permission to relax. Give yourself permission to stop and recharge. You can’t move forward with a drained battery, so quit trying. You deserve a reprieve, you need a pause.
Reprieve, respite, relaxation…
When the chaos gets crazy or when you’ve had an extended period of doing, you need to give yourself permission to pull back and rest. Give yourself permission to stop, even if there’s a lot to do.
Only in the respite can you regroup and re-center.
Only in the relaxation can you refill your energy and your capacity to think clearly.
Only in the reprieve can you pause and be.
Allow yourself these energies to bring about greater presence and well-being.
Are you reading these words or already skimming them to move on to the next thing?
You need to ground and be here.
Many of you have heard me say that I noticed a trend when the Covid lockdown started, that I needed to clear these odd cords of energy I was seeing in people’s spaces, tying them more deeply to the news and to the world. And not in a positive way. I was also seeing psychic smacks, for lack of a better way of saying it, in everyone’s space, where the news/social media, was smacking people out of their core, out of themselves, and into fear. You may not have felt fear per se, however maybe you felt anxious, or amped up, and had the need to check your phone/news/social media, more than ever.
Which leads to the other thing I’ve been clearing more continually in everyone: disconnection from self and from Source energy.
With everything going on with the upcoming election, the above is at a fever pitch.
I spent the weekend on a news hiatus, zero social media (which isn’t totally unusual for me but nonetheless), only checking emails once a day, and only checking texts twice a day. I did a very specific grounding meditation in the mornings to make sure I was completely disconnected from the pull to see what was going on in the world. The fervor of news stories had really been knocking me off balance.
I spent the time being creative in a myriad of ways and reading books that I had been wanting to re-read, while actually doing the assignments they gave. I also took the time to simply be and follow the rhythm of the day. I became so present, so calm and very much at peace.
There’s a chapter in Untamed where Glennon Doyle talks about her son changing and not being his joyful, creative self anymore. It was his addiction to his phone that was the root cause.
Now, I don’t want to go on a rant about phones, but I do want you to begin to notice the energy that comes through them, pulling you into fear or rage etc., and out of peace. Getting you focused on all the bad, versus the positive of what you do want to see. Making you feel powerless, versus empowered. Notice if you feel crappy, or crabby, after looking at Facebook or Instagram. Find the places that make your energy drop, versus elevate, and consider looking at those less, or stopping them all together.
I’m not saying be uninformed, I’m saying, maybe you look at the news once a day. Some of you have to have your phones for work or family, but in your off time, do you still have notifications going off, always worried what about what “he’ll” say next, on edge with pandemic news, more engaged with friends or strangers on Facebook or Instagram than the people in front of you? If so, you've been ensnared. You need to disconnect from devices and the energy coming through them, and come back to you.
Some of you will balk at the idea of not looking at your phones for long periods of time, yet give it a try. The first step is to turn off notifications. That “ding” creates a Pavlovian response -they’ve done a myriad of studies on that.
Second, notice if when you're away from your phone you start feeling anxious or unsettled or ungrounded. If so, then there’s a cord from you to your phone. An energetic tie or link if you will. It doesn’t just come through your phone; it can come through your computer too. It’s a way to hook you to the news or social media etc.
The antidote to this is being grounded, disconnecting from externals and connecting deeply with yourself. Be creative. Be in nature. Take time for silence. Do something healing for you.
Next week I’ll be releasing a couple meditations to help you with this. In the meantime, I have other grounding meditations in previous blogs.
Take your power back this week and don’t allow yourself to be controlled by fear/the news/social media. Disconnect from all that makes you feel awful, and focus intently on what makes you happy and what you desire for the future. It starts with you!
As August is winding down, I want you to notice how much permission you give yourself.
You are allowed to:
Sleep in late.
Stay up late.
Read all day.
Have zero agenda for the day and just see how it unfolds.
Say no, when you usually say yes.
Say yes, when you usually say no.
Not be productive.
Release your to-dos and just stare at the flowers/ocean/trees.
For some of you, that list will trigger resistance. Your inner critic will not like those ideas. It prefers you to be in control. I know that when things externally feel out of control, you want to control what you can even more. But it’s safe to stop trying to control yourself/everything and allow yourself to be.
Control can be overt, or it can be subtle: the to-dos, the order of them, what you allow yourself to have. You’re not here to reach some intangible goal of being the best through suffering or righteous limitation. You’re here to participate in, and savor life. To have fun. To find freedom and joy in your physicality. To engage your senses.
You’re here for ease, not struggle.
No matter how serious it might seem in the world, that’s when you need to give yourself permission even more for the things you deny yourself: that bowl of ice cream, that glass of wine, cancelling your day for self-care, savoring a juicy piece of fruit or a pastry, lingering in bed after you wake up.
Now obviously, there’s a difference between over-indulgence and what I’m talking about. I’m talking to those of you who control yourselves so thoroughly that you don’t even realize how narrow your definition of what’s acceptable has become. Those who feel “good” when they restrict themselves. Those who’s inner critic is brutal and always beating them up to accomplish/do/achieve/deny.
To those of you, I encourage you to say, “Not today, thank you.”
Many people tend to drive themselves- I know I can. And yet, part of the spiritual lesson right now is to pause. Yes there’s global work to be done, yes the world needs your attention and light, but if you aren’t giving yourself permission to take the time to pause, to be, to disengage and care for yourself, you’ll burn out.
Pause doesn’t mean you don’t care, quite the opposite: you care about what’s happening and you recognize that you’ll be more effective when replenished.
Stop placing limits on yourself and give yourself permission to do the things that would augment your life: hug a tree, walk barefoot in the grass, listen to really good music, color, savor the feel of the sun on your face or a cool breeze on a hot day, bask in the smell of freshly baked bread or fresh brewed coffee- engage all your senses. Give yourself permission to experience life.
Respite- the dictionary defines it as, “an interval of rest or relief.”
I think it’s what’s needed to function right now.
So even if you are busy, busy, busy, and just can’t stop (notice if you get a high from, or feel valuable by, being busy), in this moment, stop. Take a time out.
Don’t skim through this post hurrying to the next thing. Stop. Focus on your breath. Focus on your body. Feel into your tailbone. Feel your feet on the ground. Breathe.
Reset yourself. Reset your energy. Call all your energy back to you right here, right now. All that matters is this moment. Breathe.
Pause for a moment.
Now go about your day. And notice if there’s anything you can postpone today that would give you more space to heal and be.
If so, take the time to meditate, to read, to daydream, or to be creative. Your Soul is calling, will you listen?
When the chaos gets high, the most important thing you can do is pause. I know it seems counter-intuitive to stop all doing, especially when there is so much to do, but that is when it is absolutely imperative to step back and do nothing.
Believe me, I know how hard this is to implement. This past week I had a list that had to be completed in a certain time frame. With one of my to-dos, I pushed, and ended up wasting hours of my time trying to make it work. I even had the passing thought to pause, but I ignored it and I pushed harder because I felt the external pressure of time constraints. When it clearly wasn’t working, in exasperation, I finally stepped back, let go, and asked for help. The next morning, I woke up with a clear vision of a complete change in plans that created an elegant solution. Then as I went to complete part 2 of that to-do, I could feel the need to step back and pause again, and so I did. The final result was so much more perfect than I could have ever imagined, plus it saved me money, and most importantly, it felt so good and right.
You’re human, you want to get things done and checked off your list, but if you can pause, breathe, ask for help and walk away for a little, the results will be better than what you thought you needed/wanted. Step out of the mental chaos, trust when your gut says something feels wrong, and then listen to the need to pause. The pause is the Universe protecting and supporting you, and that is when miracles can occur.
There is so much chaos in the air right now, and I know you’re feeling it. There is a frenetic energy that many of you are getting swept up in, not to mention how many of you are going through major life changes right now, especially the group of you who are moving in the midst of this. So this week, we’re going to keep it very simple:
I want you to close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, and take a few deep breaths. This will center you and get you back to yourself.
Stop all doing and just be for a moment.
Do this as often as you need throughout your day, and if you get too overwhelmed, remember to take Bach Flower Remedy “Elm.”
According to a myriad of things I’ve read from different astrologers, this chaos should quell as September moves on. So for now, self-care is key. As is not judging anything you are feeling or going through. Have compassion for yourself and take those few moments to center and breathe.
You’re not alone, you’ve got this.
“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace”
Me, Tina Germain, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!