Lately, I've been challenged to hit the "pause" button again - to slow down, hang in mid-air, and wait. It feels like I'm in transition, but since I'm not totally sure where I'm transitioning to, it's pretty damn uncomfortable. Do you know this feeling? It's like everything you touch turns difficult, there's no real momentum, and you're starting to get the sense that something needs to change. Your worklife just feels kind of...foggy.
Many of us have internalized the belief that when we feel this way, the answer is simply to just try harder, which is something I talk a lot about on this blog.
The season of Spring, which we're in the midst of in the Northern Hemisphere, is a period of transition - a bridge between winter and summer, and as earth-bound humans, we're not immune to feeling the effects of this shift.
The promise of summer is exhilarating but, like any change, it can also be a bit daunting. The kids are out of school (btw, if you're a working mom, you may want to check this out), there's so much we want to do with the long days, and our work can change as clients go on vacation or want to take a break.
Sometimes when we feel unclear, tired, or just like we can't do anything else - can't attend one more meeting, write one more report, or talk to one more struggling employee, it's an invitation for us to take a cue from Spring and surrender to rest and play.
In the Spring, we've got some sunny, vibrant days, and we've got some stay-inside-with-tea rainy ones. There's newness and vitality, and then there's rest under a grey sky. You think you know what to expect when you get dressed, only to find that you're sweating profusely under a beam of sunshine that's magically appeared. It's an unpredictable, bubbly time - outside and within us.
If you're feeling like everything you do right now is a total slog, consider letting go a little more than you're comfortable with today. Go on an extra long walk at lunch, come in 15 minutes later, or just leave - or imagine leaving! - for the afternoon. Even though it's terrifying, in these transition periods, it's most "productive" to give space to our work so that we can regenerate and come back to it with the good energy it needs.
I love this quote from Martha Beck, which sounds very radical to the productivity-oriented side of me: "Rest until you feel like playing, then play until you feel like resting. Never do anything else."
When I've rested and had fun in the past few weeks instead of pushing myself to do just one more thing, the work I've wanted to do has come up naturally, softly, and much more beautifully.
I'd encourage you to give "pause" a try today.