Therapist's Note: Many of my clients who are goal-oriented folks are inclined to tackle change as an item on their to-do list that needs to be checked off as soon as possible. When we're lucky, change works exactly that way. But often change turns out to be far more exhausting than we realize--it takes tremendous emotional, mental, and even physical energy. Slowing down and even stepping away from change can be as integral to the counseling process as taking action.
I hit the pause button for a minute.
I needed time to play in the sun and rest in the water.
I needed time to refill my pool of ideas and words.
But guess what? Here is my blog, waiting for me--right where I left off.
And guess what else? You can do the same thing.
You can hit pause, too.
(Maybe you already have.)
Change does not need to be continuous to take root. The changes we make can wait for us when we need to walk away from the process temporarily. In fact, sometimes the best thing we can do when we're seeking change is to give ourselves a moment to replenish our resources.
Have you ever needed a snack in the middle of a movie? You hit pause. Grab nourishment. And pick right back up where you left off, with greater contentment and enjoyment now that you have a full belly.
Or taken a rest day after a long run? You hit pause. Let the hard work sink into the tissues of your muscles. And pick right back up where you left off, with greater strength and endurance fueled by engaging your body's built-in recovery process.
If pursuing change is causing you to run on empty, hit pause and permit yourself whatever nourishment or replenishment you need. It's okay. Change is patient. It will wait a minute for you.
Of course the pause button only works well if you come back soon enough. A movie paused too long will shut off. A body paused for too long will need to rebuild strength all over again.
So come on back just as soon as you're ready.
Because that movie you've started?
It's so so good...you can't wait to see what comes next.
(Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash)
For further reflection: What is one thing you can do this week to hit the pause button and replenish your resources? What day and time can you commit to doing just that?
Here you will find metaphors, images, reflections, and inspiration on the change process. Psychotherapy intersects with creativity, nature, and spirituality on these pages. You can start anywhere you'd like. You'll find a note on my thoughts as a therapist as well as a prompt for your own reflection at the beginning and end of each entry.
I'm a licensed therapist in private practice in Indianapolis who provides counseling to individuals and couples, particularly around issues of anxiety, adjustment, and relationship wellness.