Take a Break

When I thought about what to write today, the answer that came to me was, “Take a break.” I think it’s both a missive and a message, meaning, I need to take a break, but also other people need to take one too. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself, I notice right now with so many things happening in the world, so many issues vying for my attention, it feels irresponsible to take a break. That instead I must be firing on all cylinders all day every day. I think it’s in part because there’s that pressure in the external world, but also in part because it’s how I’m made.

I am a fire sign. Not just astrologically (I’m a Sagittarius), but also my ayurvedic dosha is pitta. I want to do all the time. Resting is the complete antithesis of my natural tendencies but it has become clear to me resting is of the utmost importance.

Back in 2013, I was reading Christine Arylo’s Madly in Love with ME and she advised every morning putting your hand on your heart and asking, “What do I need today?” or “What do I need to receive today?” Today anyway, the answer is “take a break.” She also advises conducting an energy check-in to gauge how full your energy tank is. My energy level today is a 10. Christine says don’t give of yourself unless your energy tank is at 75-100.

spiritual writer

One of these sounds great right now. Photo by Urip Dunker on Unsplash

I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but there’s still a part of me that pushes myself to do everything, anything. As soon as my energy tank gets even a little full, I empty it completely. That’s not something I want for myself. I want to be full of energy. I want to break free of all the mental prisons I’ve constructed for myself. I want liberation from the darkness and I want my magnificence to shine brightly.

I’m reminded of the butterfly here and how I, too, want to flit from place to place, soar high in the sky, and dance with other butterflies. However, in order to become a butterfly, I need to cocoon sometimes because unlike the butterfly, transformation is not a one-time thing for me. I feel like I’m constantly transforming, which would make sense given all the fire energy in my being because if you watch a fire, it’s constantly changing. And fires if they’re not tended to also reach a point where they burn out.

I need to shore up my energy, allow myself time to rest, to say no to things that drain me. I need to focus on myself so that I can become a butterfly. So I can help other people. So I can be of service. So I can live the bright and exciting life I’ve always dreamed of.  It’s incredibly difficult for me to cocoon, to withdraw my energy from the world, to concentrate on me and only me. It feels wrong and selfish and uncomfortable. If I don’t do this, however, I’m going to remain a caterpillar and I don’t want to do that.

I’m writing this blogpost because I’m sure there are other people out there like me who are running themselves ragged, especially right now when the tools that used to be available to us are either nonexistent or severely limited. Regardless of what’s happening in the world, we deserve to rest because we are not machines (and even machines aren’t running all the time). We deserve to receive as much as we give. We deserve to take time out. Sometimes we need to cocoon so we can serve the world in an even bigger way.

I dream of a world where we all take a break when we need it. A world where we balance giving and receiving. A world where we love ourselves so much, we treat ourselves with care. A world where we know in order to turn into a butterfly we have to go into a cocoon.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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