Saturday, September 21, 2019

Autumnal Equinox and the Purposeful Pause

Recently at work, things have been wild, untamed. We've rearranged our care delivery model in all areas of the organization, we've reorganized our staff (including losing more than I'd like to count to early retirement and severance packages), and even faced the potential for a strike. We have been in GO mode for over a year, and I can tell you: We. Are. Tired.

I found myself meditating on the meaning and purpose of the Autumn Equinox preparing my key offerings. During this time of year, the Ancients held many of their annual meetings. Aligning this with the notion of three harvest, the third of which is at the end of October, I was left puzzled by the hosting of a large gathering in the middle of all that work. I mean, there was so much to do! How could they just stop? And then it hit me: sometimes, in order to finish strong, you have to stop and take a breath.  Sometimes, we need to pause for a moment in order to move on with deeper, renewed purpose.

Those of you who've heard me talk about leadership have likely heard me discuss this idea of the Purposeful Pause--a "purposeful" moment in which we stop, breathe, and find our centers amidst the stress and difficulties of our daily lives. During the hectic time of the second harvest, when everything is coming to fruition all at the same time and we're trying to get everything out of the fields before it turns and is no longer viable, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Burnout is real, and not just now. Burnout comes when anyone pushes themselves beyond when they need rest, whether mental, physical, or spiritual. It seems even the Ancients knew this great truth.

During this second harvest, may the blessings of plenty be with you, and may you find time to take a purposeful pause and reflect on the gifts around you. Sit a moment. Drink some water. Wash your face. Find your center. And get back to it from a place of strength.

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