To Pause - Why and When?
Empowerment through cyclical living
by Merilyn Keskula-Drummond, founder of Mylky Moon Lab
In the past years, I’ve become more and more interested in the art of pausing. "Pause", try saying it out loud. Already the word itself feels relaxing, like a sigh or exhale, right? However, actually taking a pause - or even the thought of pausing - can trigger our deepest fears and anxieties. Why? What makes us so afraid of taking a break?
Most of us have been injected with the unconscious fear that pausing from consuming or constant doing is a dangerous (and even revolutionary) action that defies the modern growth-based models. We feel that once we jump off the moving wagon, we lose sight of the world that is steaming past with extra-ordinary speed. And we must keep up with the pace. In fact, not allowing or honouring “pausing” - aka jumping off the wagon- might just keep you on the train that travels to a destination you don’t want to go.
PAUSING IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF LIFE THAT GIVES US THE WINDOW TO CHECK OUR DIRECTION AND MAKE SURE WE'RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK.
To pause is “to reset”. Taking the time to ask yourself - which stories, patterns and habits do I automatically fall into and are they really aligned to my needs? Where am I going and is this really where I want to go? How does my inner landscape look like and is there anything I haven’t noticed before? Is what I consume and absorb each day supporting my wellbeing and growth?
In traditional cultures, pausing was sacred and deeply interwoven into the web of life. Rather than just the time to ponder on the meaning of life, knowing when (and how) to pause was key to survival and longevity. Pausing was used to check in with one’s intuition or to prepare for the next phase of action. Breaks were aligned with the cyclical nature of the human body and the cycles of the Sun and the Moon.
Re-connecting with our ancient wisdom - and actually embodying it - is brave (pun intended), but essential for our survival on this beautiful planet. We need to learn to stop “doing” - time and time again - to re-assess, review and regenerate. To re-align with our true path. For accessing your intuition and inner wisdom, pausing is key.
THERE ARE SPECIFIC TIMES TO LET OUR BODIES AND MINDS RESET. LAYERS OF NATURAL PAUSES ARE IMPRINTED ONTO OUR PATH.
I birthed Mylky Moon Lab a few years ago to explore the cyclical way of living, working and creating. The constant doing, without pauses, had left me breathless and burnt out. Whilst tuning-in to the wisdom of my own body more and more, the knowledge of our ancestors and the rhythms of the Universe, I found an inherent flow that gave me permission to pause and rejuvenate from the constant hustle, while knowing that I’m not missing the train.
SO WHEN ARE THE BEST TIMES TO PAUSE?
Female bodies with natural menstrual cycle have an innate blueprint that determines the time of growth and high energy and the time to slow down and cleanse the system. “Oestrogen grows, progesterone makes us smart,” said Marissa Correia, founder of Cyclical Body. Oestrogen is the dominant hormone during the follicular phase, up to the ovulation, and progesterone takes charge of the luteal phase, from ovulation until the next bleed.
One of the reasons why many of us experience uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms during the luteal phase is simply that we are not pausing, despite our bodies desperately crying out for it. The monthly bleed is often referred to as the Inner Winter in the female cycle - the natural time for deeper inner work, taking a break from “being outdoors”.
Another tool for determining best times to pause - with or without a menstrual cycle - is tracking the movement of the moon. It’s universal and easy and provides a very similar blueprint to the menstrual cycle. In fact, the length of an average menstrual cycle and the number of days that it takes for the moon to circle around the Earth are the same! As the full moon invites outward focus; the dark and new moon brings on the time of rejuvenation and rebirth, the pause.
PAUSE. THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.
I found intermittent fasting creating a similar type of pause: the reset for body + mind and the window to explore whether my ingrained habits are really valid. Giving your body a gentle break from constant consuming helps to uncover the messages she/he is trying to send you. Listening to our inner wisdom that can be heard when pausing helps us to switch to a more intuitive way of eating and living.
As with everything, the answers are already there, and we can access our unique blueprint by just tuning in to the right channel and listening in silence. Being with what is without needing to add anything. Pausing of any kind is the only way to discover your innate story and follow your own flow.
How are you taking time for yourself and why? Join the conversation over on our Instagram page, we love sharing your stories.
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